Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

French Open roundup from Day 14


Unseeded 20-year-old Jelena Ostapenko tripled her career earnings after her shock win in the French Open final over world No4 Simona Halep.

More crisp striking from Ostapenko nudged the 20-year-old ahead once more, but the errors flew off her racquet just as regularly and Halep pulled 4-3 in front.

Jelena's path to the victory was incredible, the Latvian hit 54 winners on her way to a "dream".

It was her first career title as she became the lowest-ranked victor in Paris, taking the trophy in just her eighth major appearance.

Ostapenko had promised to stick to her uncomplicated routine of attack-attack-attack before the final and was true to her word as she walloped 54 clean winners - and 54 unforced errors.

"I just had to stay aggressive and play my game because Simona is such a great player".

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The last player to win their debut title at Roland-Garros was Gustavo Kuerten on June 8, 1997...

On Saturday at Roland Garros, the grumbling stopped as we were treated to a thrilling match that went back-and-forth between the upstart Latvian Jelena Ostapenko and the seasoned player, Simona Halep. I played well. I think a little bit of luck in some points, all the lines, all the nets. "And I was losing 6-4, 3-0, and then in my mind I was just, I'm just going to enjoy the match, and I will try to fight until the last point". I would be surprised if she came out and can hit winners all over the court like she has been.

The Latvian ended the tournament with 299 winners, more than any other woman or man at the tournament.

"It's not scary to have the attention, it's always nice to have fans", said Ostapenko, suddenly $2.3 million better off and with a new world ranking of 12 to her name from her current 47.

Simona Halep: "I'm sad I couldn't win it, but it was a great experience".

Ostapenko built momentum after an error-strewn start and made Halep work with a phenomenal 22 winners in the second. "And Jelena has more focus if I'm not there".

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"I will keep working, because I really want to repeat what I have done this tournament".

But with a power-based game that elicits "oohs" and "aahs" from spectators, and a fearless attitude to match, Ostapenko could be one to watch for quite some time.

"But then I learned how to play on it and understood the movement". "In three weeks, I'm going to get ready for that". I think I can still improve my serve, my forehand.

Jelena Ostapenko, who is world number 47 before the Roland Garros victory, is now the lowest-ranked champion. "She deserved to win", Halep pointed out, adding that she suffered much more from the loss this time compared with that three years ago.

Halep profusely praised her opponent. "So if I can reduce them, I think will be helpful".

'She has a lot of advantage because she knows most of the match depends on her side. "To go away." In the absence of Serena Williams, Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka, Halep was viewed as the overwhelming favourite.

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