Ostapenko believes 'anything is possible' after French Open win
- Author: Julie Sanders Jun 24, 2017,
Jun 24, 2017, 21:53
The 20-year-old trailed by a set and was 3-0 down in the second to Halep - who would have become world number one with a win - but prevailed 4-6 6-4 6-3.
She would begin the tournament ranked No47 and, by the end, was looking at a career-high No12, along the way becoming the first unseeded woman to win at Roland Garros since 1933.
After challenging and exciting match the young Latvian beat Halep 4-6 6-4 6-3, and reached her first title ever, and to make it even greater, she won the Grand Slam.
When the disappointment fades, she will remember that she played a solid tournament for six-plus matches.
As for the future, Ostapenko's big game will surely be a formidable force come the grass.
Contesting only her eighth major, Ostapenko clubbed 54 winners to Halep's eight, while committing 54 unforced errors to the Romanian's 10.
Halep hit the first blow in the deciding set with an early break of serve, but again Ostapenko rallied.
"She can take the racket out of your hands", Halep's coach Darren Cahill said.
In fact, the Latvian started where she left off during her semi-final against the experienced Swiss Timea Bacsinszky, reeling off winners that had the crowd cheering their approval.
Halep appeared on the way to a relative runaway, leading by a set and 3-0 in the second, then holding three break points for the chance to go ahead 4-0. While Halep faded in the second and third sets, Ostapenko kept going strong, and eventually came out on top.
She stormed through the last five games in a row, apparently free of nerves, to clinch victory and grab her place among the elite of women's tennis. "I'm just really, really happy". "It's incredible", said Ostapenko, the first Latvian to claim a Grand Slam crown. I think I'm going to only understand that in maybe couple of days or couple of weeks (smiling).' Have you always played tennis with the style you play now, the quick strike, the going for your shots all the time? And also I think my character is like that. "And Jelena has more focus if I'm not there".
"I mean, I think I can not believe I am Roland Garros champion, and I am only 20 years old", Ostapenko said in an on-court interview after her upset win. I love you guys. It's so awesome to be here.
"I knew that Gustavo Kuerten won his first Roland Garros the day I was born, I have no words".
"I knew about the history", said Ostapenko.
"I'm so glad it went my way". I will keep working because I want to repeat what I have done this tournament.
"I would like to thank my team, my parents".
Next up on the Grand Slam circuit is Wimbledon where Ostapenko was junior champion in 2014.
"If I have a really good day, and I'm hitting really well", said Ostapenko, who walloped 54 winners during her 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 comeback victory over third-seeded Simona Halep in Saturday's final at the French Open, "I think anything is possible".