Jelena Ostapenko stuns Simona Halep to claim French Open crown

Posted June 23, 2017

Latvian underdog Jelena Ostapenko won her first Grand Slam title in a thrilling manner as she came back from one set down to beat No. 3 seed Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in women's singles final at the 2017 French Open here on Saturday.

After smiting the last of her 54 winners, she is the French Open champion, which, oh yeah, is her first title.

Jelena Ostapenko kept giving her best all the time against Simona Halep today in the Roland Garros final, also when she was down 6-4 3-0.

But few would have imagined that Ostapenko, who had lost her only French Open match before this run, would be the one to capitalize.

Following her biggest career victory, Ostapenko will rise to world number 12 in the WTA rankings.

In Saturday's final she fired 54 winners and 54 unforced errors.

"I think I can not believe I'm the Roland Garros champion", Ostapenko said.

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. "There are no words".

Ostapenko, who just celebrated her 20th birthday on Thursday, has already made history in the semifinals as the first Latvian player to make into the final at a Grand Slam tournament.

Brilliant winners were exchanged in the first moments of the second set but the momentum had clearly shifted to Halep's favour, as she took a quick 3-0 lead.

She said: "I knew I'm already in the final and I'm playing such a great player as Simona".

"Of course, now I probably will have more pressure but I'm going to try to deal with that". I fought for every point.

- "I can not believe I'm the Roland Garros champion". And I was just "Okay, I have nothing to lose, I'm just going to hit a victor. I'm just really, really happy". So I will work hard to climb the ranking and maybe win some more titles...

The Latvian, who turned 20 years old two days prior, exited the court to brush her hair before the trophy ceremony.

Next on the agenda for Ostapenko is the Aegon Classic in Birmingham but she is not yet in the field, now still one out with the rankings cut-off several weeks ago, although a wild card will surely be made available if she chooses to take it.

Plus, one must marvel at her tenacity and ability to come from behind. It's my goal, I think. She played really well in the very tough moments.

President Raimonds Rejoins called to wish her luck after the semi-final, and a giant screen in Riga showed the final. The last woman to win her first title at a major was Barbara Jordan at the 1979 Australian Open. Third seed Halep buckled under the strain of fending off the missiles being launched off Ostapenko's lime green racket.