First among equals as Halep, Ostapenko eye French title
- Author: Zachary Reyes Jun 11, 2017,
Jun 11, 2017, 5:42
She couldn't convert the first one but she took the second one to get back on serve.
When Simona Halep lost her first Grand Slam final at the French Open in 2014 to Maria Sharapova, she could console herself with the fact that the Russian was a multiple major champion, and that more than likely, her time would come.
Ostapenko created her first championship point with a return backhand victor down the line.
The 20-year-old Ostapenko fought back from 3-0 down in the set and the Latvian wrapped it up with a forehand down the line, her 36th victor of the match.
Halep won the second set with a net-cord victor but on Saturday Ostapenko earned the key break of the third at 3-3 with her own slice of luck.
You'd have to think that Ostapenko, at just 20 years old, has a future that will have more trophies coming her way. When Halep faced the media soon after, it was all too clear how she felt.
On Friday, Jelena Ostapenko celebrated her 20th birthday. Last year, she threw a racket during a tournament in Auckland, New Zealand, that bounced off the court and struck a ball boy.
Contesting only her eighth major, Ostapenko clubbed 54 winners to Halep's eight, while committing 54 unforced errors to the Romanian's 10.
She is also just the second unseeded woman to win the French Open after Margaret Scriven in 1933, although her ranking will jump from 47 in the world to 12. Plus Halep, who is 25, is not completely new to this sort of stage. She staved off three break points as Halep was looking for the double break but she remained in touch with the Romanian at 3-1 down. I don't think I will believe it for another couple of days or weeks. I want to have many more, if it's possible.
"I think it's going to be little bit hard but I chose to be a tennis player, so that's my career".
"When I was losing 6-4, 3-0, in my mind I was just, 'I'm just going to enjoy the match, ' and I will try to fight until the last point", said Ostapenko.
"I am sick in the stomach with emotions but hopefully I can win this one in the future", said Halep.
"She danced, swam, played tennis, she played football because she had so much energy".
So what now for Halep? We will see what is gonna be.' The disappointment at the moment, is it because of the loss or is it because you think you could have done something else to change that match around?
Latvia's ex-prime minister Laimdota Straujuma (Unity) also voiced happiness and pride on her Twitter post: "A Latvian girl surprised the tennis world and not only that!" At some point I was like a spectator on court. And then I stayed aggressive and the match turned my way.
Ostapenko beat Olympic champion Monica Puig, former finalist Sam Stosur, former number one Caroline Wozniacki and two-time semi-finalist Timea Bacsinszky on her way to the final.