Halep misses another chance to win Grand Slam title

PARIS, June 10 Jelena Ostapenko stunned third seed Simona Halep 4-6 6-4 6-3 in the French Open women's final on Saturday to become the first Latvian to win a grand slam title.

"I still can not believe I am the Roland Garros champion and I'm only 20", said the youngest victor of the French Open since Iva Majoli in 1997.

"I can not believe I am champion at 20 years old".

"I think I still can not believe it, because it was my dream and now it came true", Ostapenko said.

She is also the first woman in 48 years to make a Grand Slam title her first title.

Ostapenko set the tone immediately on a raucous Court Philippe Chatrier, disguising any nerves with an array of bruising groundstrokes to break Halep in the opening game. The last man to manage it was Gustavo Kuerten, who won the 1997 French Open on the day that Ostapenko was born in the Latvian capital of Riga. "There are no words".

Also seeing her first success at a WTA tournament, Ostapenko was the first player to win the French Open final from a set down since 1991, according to the Women's Tennis Association (WTA).

The Romanian third seed was leading by a set and a break in Paris but succumbed to 47th-ranked Ostapenko's fearless shot-making in a 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 defeat.

"I knew Simona was a great player". It's my goal. But I'm just going to try to work hard now and try to reach the high ranking.

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And it was the 299 winners she hit over the course of seven matches that captured the imagination of the Roland Garros crowd, who roared her to victory on Saturday. Ostapenko, 20, won the important points, including late in the third set.

Some doubt whether such an approach can seriously upset Halep, especially in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of a French Open final.

The incredibly powerful hitting that had been a staple of Ostapenko's run to the final was evident from the very first game.

Plus, one must marvel at her tenacity and ability to come from behind. It was always my dream, when I was a child I was watching players here.

Halep came into the final with all to lose - she had been in this position before, and there was more for her to lose, especially from a commanding position of a set and a break up. Margaret Court is the only player in history to have achieved the feat, winning the Australian Open title 11 times from 1960-73. To play a final, it's an unbelievable thing.

"This one hurts a lot maybe because I realize more about what is happening". I really enjoyed it.

"Ostapenko was a teenager before Thursday and had never previously featured in the second week of a Grand Slam". Just look at Angelique Kerber, the world No. 1 who lost in the first round. She deserved to win.

Not coincidentally, that was also the last time at any Grand Slam tournament that none of the women's quarterfinalists had previously won a major championship.

"Time will tell, but she certainly has the game and the presence of mind". She will nearly certainly be a seeded player from this point forward, and she also no longer has a zero in the championship category.

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