Jelena Ostapenko moves into WTA top 20 after French Open win

Unseeded Ostapenko tops Halep at French Open for first title

"I'm just going to try to work hard but I think if I have a really good day and I'm hitting really well, I think anything is possible", she said.

The 20-year-old, a virtual unknown before the start of Roland Garros, fired 54 winners and 54 unforced errors past Simona Halep in her 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 win on Saturday.

Ostapenko, the country's first Grand Slam champion, won the French Open title as the first non-frozen player since 1933.

It was her first career title as she became the lowest-ranked victor in Paris, taking the trophy in just her eighth major appearance. Clay isn't even her preferred surface - she likes grass better, and won the Wimbledon junior title in 2014 - which made this two-week joyride even more unpredictable.

Yet for much of the contest, hanging into rallies by her fingernails, it seemed Halep's steady approach would see her become only the second Romanian woman to win a grand slam title after her manager Virginia Ruzici's 1978 Roland Garros win.

"It's not scary to have the attention, it's always nice to have fans", said Ostapenko, suddenly $2.3 million better off and with a new world ranking of 12 to her name from her current 47.

Ostapenko described the American, a three-time champion in Paris, as "an idol".

Halep appeared on the way to a relative runaway victory, leading by a set and 3-0 in the second, then holding three break points for the chance to go ahead 4-0. In 2016 she got in a dispute with Britain's Naomi Broady after the Latvian threw her racquet trying to reach a ball and it hit a ballboy.

And then, in the third, Ostapenko again summoned a veteran's resolve, taking the last five games after being down a break at 3-1.

"From the minute she stepped out there, the first game she played out there was impressive and the last game was very impressive". She's fearless, she fights for every point.' Jakovleva, who came in Paris only during the second week, didn't watch any of Jelena's matches from the grounds because 'Jelena has more focus if I am not here.

"I mean, our year, 1997, is pretty strong because we have a lot of players in top 100 and top 50, as well".

"When I first played on grass I didn't like it, I didn't understand it", she recalled playing on grass at Roehampton in England as a 15-year-old.

Konta praised Ostapenko's triumph, believing it showcases how open the women's game is that so many low-seeded players can reach the latter stages of the biggest events.

"I've been sick in the stomach with emotion", Halep said.


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