Unseeded Jelena Ostapenko, 20, Clinches Her First Major Title, The French Open

  • Unseeded Jelena Ostapenko, 20, Clinches Her First Major Title, The French Open

Unseeded Jelena Ostapenko, 20, Clinches Her First Major Title, The French Open

The Romanian had played the percentages, with just one victor and two errors, and she looked set to end her wait for a major title when she moved 3-0 up in the second.

She was in similarly desperate straits in the third set when 1-3 in arrears.

However, in an extended fourth game, she couldn't convert any of three break points to go 4-0 up and Ostapenko won six of the next seven games to wrestle momentum.

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

"Everybody knows she can play very good, but I think nobody expected (her) to (do) what she did", said Anabel Medina Garrigues, who began coaching Ostapenko in April. It's my goal. But I'm just going to try to work hard now and try to reach the high ranking.

"It may be hard but I chose the life of a tennis player".

Jelena Ostapenko completed her wonderful and wholly improbable two-week journey from teenage hopeful to dazzling Grand Slam champion on Saturday when she came from a set down to blitz Simona Halep at Roland-Garros with one of the tournament's most stupendous performances.

After winning a first-set slugfest with some brilliant extended rallies, the air looked like it came out of Ostapenko's balloon as Halep ran out to a 3-0 lead.

Ostapenko, who will rise to world number 12 from 47 following Saturday's win, also worked a lot on her forehand, which was then her weakest shot.

JELENA JAKOVLEVA, Ostapenko's mother, recalling her daughter's self-fulfilling prophecy, made 10 years ago. "I think she has a big chance now to win the final, she's going to deserve it".

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

'She has a lot of advantage because she knows most of the match depends on her side.

Jelena Ostapenko, who is world number 47 before the Roland Garros victory, is now the lowest-ranked champion.

When Halep faced the media soon after, it was all too clear how she felt. Ostapenko's average forehand speed topped that of men's No. 1 Andy Murray this fortnight.

"She's a great champion". And also sometimes I was making too many unforced errors.

Time will tell whether Ostapenko can be that player, but Jakovleva needs no convincing.

The 23 unforced errors caught up to the Latvian and Halep took the opening set.

When she drilled a final backhand victor down the line, she dropped her racket to the clay and held her arms aloft in delight and disbelief.

Behind after 39 minutes, Ostapenko showed no inclination to temper her approach.

"I think the whole tournament has been a plus for the women's game", he says.

Halep held and later broke for 3-1. It was Jelena Ostapenko this time.

Wimbledon is the next grand slam tournament of the year next month and Ostapenko's style of play should be well suited to playing on grass.

But she doesn't want to stop there. It belied the moment and enormity of the occasion, especially at her age. It was one of the most unlikely grand slam wins in recent history but her all-for-nothing attitude earned her countless fans at Roland Garros as she bashed Halep off the court.

Her backhand down the line was going wide until it hit the top of the net, changed direction and seemed to hang in the air for an eternity.