Jelena Ostapenko stuns Simona Halep, wins French Open 2017

Jelena Ostapenko came from a set down to beat Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. It is the first time since 1933 that an unseeded player has won the French Open since 1933. It is also the first time since 1997 that anyone has won a maiden title at Roland Garros.

By: Express Web Desk | Published: June 10, 2017 9:51:21 pm
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 10, 2017 Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko celebrates with the trophy after winning the final against Romania’s Simona Halep Reuters / Benoit Tessier

Jelena Ostapenko stormed to a maiden Grand Slam title. The Latvian, who turned 20 just two days ago, beat Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to clinch the title. She came into the tournament unseeded, and all the way through to the title itself. In the process, she has become the first to do so since 1933.

The match started on a shaky note for Ostapenko as the unforced errors that she committed led to Halep winning the first set 6-4. The Romanian, who was one of the favourites owing to the non-participation of the likes of Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova, then took a 0-4 lead in the second set. At that point it looked like Halep may run away to the title.

But then Ostapenko produced an astonishing comeback to take six games on the trot. As the games progessed the shots became stronger and more confident and Halep was left with little answers. It was the first title of any kind for Ostapenko and the last time that had happened was when Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten won the title in 1997. Kuerten won the title on the day that Ostapenko was born.

Halep was as restrained as Ostapenko was aggressive. Initially, it did look like Halep would win the match with the approach but the pressure was too much to soak for her and she eventually looked drained. It is the second time that Halep lost the French Open at the summit. Moreover, she would have replaced Angelique Kerber at the top of the WTA rankings. Even now she will rise to second place in the world rankinsg.

In the two-hour contest, Ostapenko hit 54 winners. She had turned 20 on the day when she won her semi-final, beating Timea Bacsinzsky and was the first unseeded player to make it into the final of the French Open since Mima Jaušovec in 1983.

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