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Ostapenko shocks Halep for first Grand Slam title at Roland Garros

Jelena Ostapenko. Photo: Christian Hartmann/Reuters/Scanpix/LETA.

Latvian tennis player Jelena Ostapenko capped a fairytale fortnight with her first Grand Slam crown, shocking No.3 seed Simona Halep, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 to win Roland Garros.

Ostapenko kicked off the clay court season with her third WTA final appearance at the Volvo Car Open, and showed improved consistency to bring that form to the J&T Banka Prague Open, where she reached the semifinals.

The Latvian nonetheless came to Paris unseeded and looming, knocking out reigning Olympic champion Monica Puig en route to the second week, where she won three straight three-setters against 2010 finalist Samantha Stosur, former World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, and 2015 semifinalist Timea Bacsinszky.

Playing in her first major final, the Latvian trailed Halep by a break in both the second and third sets - saving three break points that would have seen her fall behind 0-4 in the former - to win her first singles title on Saturday.

The first player to win the French Open final from a set down since 1991, Ostapenko became the first unseeded woman to win on the terre battue since 1933.

"Jelena showed today she has a champion's mentality," Martina Navratilova said while commentating for ITV UK. "Everybody can hit the ball hard but can you control it? You've got to have the goods as well. She also has a big improvement possibility on her serve. When she gets that, watch out!

"With this game, it should transfer well onto grass so she's got to be one of the favorites for Wimbledon."

For Halep, it was her second French Open final in four years, and the new No.1 on the Race to Singapore leaderboard hardly put a foot wrong with just 10 unforced errors in three sets as she aimed to wrest World No.1 from Angelique Kerber on the WTA Rankings.

Ostapenko far outpaced the Romanian in errors, hitting 54 of her own, but she matched them with 54 winners, including a screaming backhand return winner to clinch the title after nearly two hours on court.

"She was hitting very strong," Halep said after the match. "At some point I was like a spectator on court. She deserved to win."

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Tennislover 11.06.2017
Absolutely delighted for this young lady ......you guys in Latvia have a new hero!
Frits fm Holland 11.06.2017
An Angelic Beauty From Latvia ; the whole Baltics must be proud!