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Unseeded Ostapenko wins historic French Open title


Unseeded Ostapenko wins historic French Open title

Jelena Ostapenko has stunned favourite Simona Halep to lift her maiden Grand Slam title at the French Open.

The unseeded 20-year-old Latvian lost the first set but fought back from 3-0 down in the second with an incredible display of dexterity and power.

She fired 54-winners in the two-hour contest and finished with a flashing backhand to become the first unseeded player to win the title since Briton Margaret Scriven in 1933.

Ostapenko, who turned 20 on Thursday when she beat Swiss Timea Bacsinszky, threw her distinctive green headband into the crowd after a warm embrace with Halep who look devastated.

“I mean I can’t believe I’m champion at 20,” Ostapenko, the youngest finalist for 10 years, said on court. It’s her first title of any kind, emulating the feat of Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten who won his first Tour crown at Roland Garros in 1997 on the day Ostapenko was born.

Halep’s steady approached looked like taking her to a first grand slam title but she appeared drained at the end by the constant barrage coming from across the net. Not only did the third seeded Romanian fall short in the Roland Garros final for the second time, the defeat also cost her the world number one ranking that would have come with victory.