Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, who celebrated her 20th birthday on Thursday, blazed into the French Open Final with a 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3 win over Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland in a battle of the birthday girls. On the day she turned 20 the free-winging world number 47 launched a fusillade of 50 winners to become the first unseeded player to reach women’s singles final at the Roland Garros since Mima Jausovec lost to Chris Evert in 1983.
She faces the master of defence Simona Halep in the summit clash on Saturday. Also, if she manages to eke out a win over Halep, she will be the first player since Justine Henin in 2005 to win a singles’ title at Roland Garros after saving a match point.
However, in the absence of many big names, both Halep and the Latvian stands a chance to win the title, which might now happen in near future. She also has the chance to emulate Gustavo Kuerten, by making the French Open her first career title, which Kuerten achieved in 1997 on the day when Jelena was born.
Jelena Ostapenko’s road to her maiden Grand Slam final:
Jelena Ostapenko beat Timea Bacsinszky 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3
Jelena Ostapenko beat Carolina Wozniacki 4-6, 6-2, 6-2
Jelena Ostapenkoa beat Samantha Stosur 2-6, 6-2, 6-4
Jelena Ostapenkoa beat Lesia Tsurenko 6-1, 6-4
Jelena Ostapenko beat Monica Puig 6-3, 6-2