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Jelena Ostapenko wins the French Open

Jelena Ostapenko wins the French Open”

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.

The French Open title is the first WTA tour win of Ostapenko's career, making her the first woman in four decades to win her first career title in a Grand Slam event.

At 20 years and two days old, Ostapenko is the youngest first-time grand slam champion since Svetlana Kuznetsova at the US Open in 2004. And she had come back from the brink against Elena Svitolina in the quarter-final, and survived an onslaught from Karolina Pliskova in the semis to enter her second Major final.

After finishing a high-quality backhand to seal the history-breaking win, an excited Ostapenko threw her racquet onto the ground at the Philippe-Chatrier Court.

The Latvian, who only turned 20 on Thursday, was 6-4 3-0 down and seemingly staring at defeat in her maiden grand-slam final.

Until Roland Garros, Ostapenko was best known outside of Latvia as a racquet-throwing villain after an incident in Auckland in January, when she nearly hit a ball boy.

"Nobody taught me, it's just the way I play", said Ostapenko.

Going up a break 3-1 in the third, Halep, who refused to add any variety to her game and holding to the slugfest mindset, was broken to bring it back on serve at 3-2. I have no words, it is my dream. When I was a child I was watching. Congrats Simona, you were playing awesome. And I was just "Okay, I have nothing to lose, I'm just going to hit a victor".

Ostapenko made 23 unforced errors in the first set and then trailed 3-0 in the second - saving three break points that would have seen her fall behind 0-4 - before turning the match around and forcing a third set.

"I knew SImona is a great player and she was playing great". "And Jelena has more focus if I'm not there". All the credit for what you have done. "Enjoy it, be happy and keep it going because you are like a kid".

But the Romanian delivered a swift counter-punch, hitting back straight away on the Latvian's serve before holding easily for 2-1.

Fittingly she thumped a backhand victor past Halep to seal victory, before tossing her distinctive green headband into the crowd with a look of disbelief.

Ostapenko seemed to be unravelling in the second set as a series of shots either stung the net or flew long, allowing Halep to move 3-0 ahead. And also I think my character is like that.

The 20-year-old may have been unseeded going into the tournament, but her ranking will fly up afterwards from No. 47 to just outside the top 10 at No. 12.

Halep realised just how hard her opponent had worked on that on Saturday. Even if the sample size if small, Ostapenko looks like she relishes the moment.

But it was not until the closing moments of her win over third seed Halep, the 2014 runner-up, that the Latvian contemplated winning the title.



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