Unseeded Latvian Jelena Ostapenko wins French Open title
- Author: Stacy Allen Jun 13, 2017,
Jun 13, 2017, 8:30
"She only has one game, either I can't touch it or it flies one metre out".
At only 20 years and 2 days old, she also became the youngest French Open victor since Iva Majoli in 1997, and the first man or woman to have their first WTA title be a major since Gustavo Kuerten in 1997.
The Latvian who turned 20 on the day of her semi-final triumph over Timea Bacsinszky is a breath of fresh air for the women's game and having won her first Grand Slam with a phenomenal display of power hitting, must be top of tournament director Karl Budge's shopping list.
Ostapenko is the youngest Grand Slam champion since Maria Sharapova at the 2006 US Open, but remarkably middle aged in terms of first-time major winners.
Her title ambition will be slightly easier to achieve now that Serena Williams, her idol, is off the Tour, expecting her first child in September. This French Open, as well as Ostapenko herself, have already made a lot of history. Clay is not even her preferred surface, as she won the Wimbledon Junior Title back in 2014.
"If I have a chance to go for a shot, I'm trying for it", said Ostapenko, just the third woman born in the 1990s to capture a Slam title. "Jelena Ostapenko did it right here this week", Martina Navratilova, a victor of Grand Slam singles title, told the Tennis Channel.
After receiving the Coupe Suzanne-Lenglen on Saturday afternoon, it took a few moments for the newly crowned French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko to realise it was customary to lift the trophy above her head.
The Romanian then had break points to make it 4-0 but Ostapenko held firm to massive cheers.
Her "live by the sword, die by the sword" approach worked wonders on Saturday when she was 3-1 down in both the second and third sets.
"From the minute she stepped out there, the first game she played out there was impressive and the last game was very impressive".
And after it was all said and done, she was still just a giddy 20-year-old.
"The new challenge will be to learn how to deal with the emotions, every player is going to look at her and want to beat her".
"If I am having a really good day and I'm hitting really well, I think anything is possible", she said. "Maybe I was not ready to win it". "She's fun to watch", said the Roland Garros Champion.
"After an additional scan, the muscle tear that I sustained in Rome will unfortunately not allow me to compete in the grass-court tournaments I was scheduled to play", she said on Facebook.