Sports

Unseeded Jelena Ostapenko shocks Simona Halep to win French Open

Unseeded Jelena Ostapenko shocks Simona Halep to win French Open

The world No 47 won 4-6 6-4 6-3 to become the first player to win their maiden Tour title at a Grand Slam since Gustavo Kuerten on June 8, 1997 - the day Ostapenko was born.

From Halep's point of view her first time out of the gates at a Slam final, she was surrounded by an entourage of around 50 family and friends, and this time she kept it simple - and it nearly worked.

"I didn't really understand how to play on grass and I was like, "How can people play on grass?"

Next on the agenda for Ostapenko is the Aegon Classic in Birmingham, although it is a sign of just what an outsider she was that she is not yet even in the field.

Prior to her exploits in Paris, Ostapenko's professional earnings stacked up to just over $1.2million. The paper notes she is also the first Latvian ever to win a singles Grand Slam.

It was not always like that.

"I have full faith that one of these days she's going to hold one of those trophies", Cahill said. This will be tough, for sure but I think she will regroup and be a better player. It's like for soccer, made for soccer. The exceptionally nerveless Ostapenko wriggled out of the precarious situation in her own style, never fearing, never doubting herself as she continued to hit winners at every opportunity she got.

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She turned 20 during the tournament and was still a teenager when she lost the first set of her first-round match against Louisa Chirico of the United States.

Behind after 39 minutes, Ostapenko showed no inclination to temper her approach.

The Latvian had come back from a set down against Samantha Stosur and then against former World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round and quarter-finals respectively. I've just enjoyed it so much. She was hitting very strong. "That's unbelievable. There are not so many players like that".

"You know that sometimes you're not going to touch the ball".

Halep said: "Thank you for coming". It's her second grand slam final.

"I think she has a big chance now to win the final, she's going to deserve it".

"I felt sick in the stomach to play in this final, so maybe I wasn't ready to win it, but maybe next time".

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"Nobody taught me. It's just the way I play".

Ostapenko is next scheduled to play at 's-Hertogenbosch while Halep is scheduled to return in Birmingham.
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"I knew about the history", said Ostapenko.

Finally, it was Simona Halep and Jelena Ostapenko who reached the finals.

In baking sunshine Ostapenko began the match by breaking Halep's serve with three clean winners and ended it, two hours later with two scintillating backhands. A couple of break points to make it 4-0 presented themselves to the Romanian giving an impression that she had found a way to counter her opponent's onslaught.

'She has a lot to be proud of, ' said the Australian. Three years ago it was something new.

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