Latvian lady tennis player Alona Ostapenko today rewrote the Latvian sports history, triumphing at the final of the French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament. She earned her trophy with a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win over second time Roland Garros finalist Simona Halep.
The 20-year-old came from a set down to beat Halep at Roland Garros in Paris and become Latvia's first Grand Slam champion. And also I think my character is like that. If she had taken any of them, most likely that would have finished off Ostapenko.
The last woman to win her first title at a major was Barbara Jordan of the United States at the 1979 Australian Open. To all the people back home, I got lots of messages and support.
Jelena Ostapenko & Martina Navratilova (1978 Wimbledon) are the only women in Open Era to win 1st Grand Slam from down a set in the Final.
There was nothing lucky about the way she struck 54 winners past an aggrieved Halep, the third seed who, in the absence of Serena Williams, Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova, was heavily tipped to win the title. But she held herself in check at Roland Garros and now will climb from No. 47 in the world rankings to No 12.
Jelena Ostapenko could hardly believe her own achievements after storming back to defeat Simona Halep in a scintillating French Open final on Sunday (AEST).
"I'm just going to try to work hard now and try to reach the high ranking". I'm really, really happy. Sometimes I was making too many unforced errors.
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Ostatapenko is the first Latvian to win a Grand Slam and not only did the president from her country call her after her semifinal win, but many of her peers were overflowing with praise for the new star in tennis.
Ostapenko described the American, a 3-time champion in Paris, as an idol. "Three years ago was something new, so now I know". At some point I was like a spectator on court.
Halep won the second set with a net-cord victor but on Saturday Ostapenko earned the key break of the third at 3-3 with her own slice of luck.
On June 8, 1997, a 20-year-old Brazilian named Gustavo Kuerten won the men's singles title at Roland Garros.
"She danced, swam, played tennis, she played football because she had so much energy".
Ostapenko's wildness betrayed her as she served to stay in the set at 4-5, netting a forehand to offer Halep set point and drilling long to gift the Romanian the set.
All that, and she would do it the hard way, from a set and 3-0 down, and facing break points that would have seen her trailing 4-0.
- Ostapenko broke third seed Halep in the fifth and seventh games to take a 4-3 lead in the second set.
- She guided a attractive forehand down to line to draw level with her 36th victor of the match.