Ostapenko mounts comeback against Halep to win French Open

Hope Soto
June 15, 2017

Unseeded Jelena Ostapenko rallied after dropping the first set and going down 0-3 in the second to shock No. 3 seed Simona Halep on Saturday to capture the French Open women's championship for her first Grand Slam title.

Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko kisses the trophy after winning the women's final match of the French Open tennis tournament against Romania's Simona Halep.

Facing the unseeded Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in the French Open final, Halep took the first set and led 3-0 in the second. If it missed, she just tried again until it worked.

The 20-year-old Ostapenko fought back from 3-0 down in the set and the Latvian wrapped it up with a forehand down the line, her 36th victor of the match.

Scores and scores come out to support her everywhere she goes and Cahill believes she deals with it all impeccably well.

"I'm looking forward to Wimbledon because grass is one of my favourite surfaces", Ostapenko said in a news conference following her triumph.

But the difference on this day: Halep faded at the end of the second and third sets, while Ostapenko surged, bringing her mother - a tennis instructor who taught young Jelena how to play - to tears in the stands.

She has more titles in sight, vowing to stay true to her fearless, big-hitting game.

Nadal kept serve to win the set 6-4, with a 67 per cent first serve rate and six unforced errors to Thiem's 12. So I think from our perspective Simona can hold her head up high. To play final, it's an awesome thing. Last year, she threw a racket during a tournament in Auckland, New Zealand, that bounced off the court and struck a ball boy. "I think she's playing probably similar to my style, so she was my idol".

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"I'm really happy to win here". I was happy to win but I think you will win it one day and wish you all the best for the season.

Halep consolidated with a gritty hold for 3-0 before Ostapenko fought off a trio of break points to stall her rival's momentum and spark an incredible comeback.

With 20 years, no experience in the finals, and especially in the Grand Slam finals, her result and achievement is much greater than anyone thinks.

"I've been sick in the stomach with emotion", Halep said. "I think she has a big chance now to win the final, she's going to deserve it". "I was just trying to go for shots when I could and on match point". Also in the deciding moments, I played pretty well in those games. If she can enjoy this moment, instead of being overwhelmed by it, then who knows how many of these things she might win.

If Ostapenko, who is a former junior Wimbledon title, can maintain this kind of form, then she may just take some stopping when she gets to the All England Club in three weeks' time. Secondly, not a single player from Latvia, man or woman, had ever captured a Grand Slam title.

Halep rescued three break points at the start of the second and things began to unravel for Ostapenko as she sent a forehand wide to fall further behind.

Her confidence comes both from youth and the knowledge that, when she is on form, very few players can live with her.

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.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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