Unseeded Ostapenko, 20, wins French Open title

Unseeded Jelena Ostapenko, who turned 20 three days ago, shocked the world when she defeated #3 seed Simona Halep, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, to win the 2017 French Open.Ostapenko becomes the first player to win a debut tour level title at a Grand Slam since Gustavo Kuerten did it on June 8, 1997 – the day Ostapenko was born.Jelena Ostapenko, who is world number 47 before the Roland Garros victory, is now the lowest-ranked champion.It was a similar tale in the deciding set as Halep again saved break points in the opening game and raced to a 3-1 lead but again Ostapenko blasted her way out of trouble and didn’t show any signs of nerves closing the match out. Simona Halep, who stands between her and an improbable first grand slam title on Saturday, has hit 118.Next on the agenda for Ostapenko is the Aegon Classic in Birmingham but she is not yet in the field, now still one out with the rankings cut-off several weeks ago, although a wild card will surely be made available if she chooses to take it. The last woman to win her first title at a major was Barbara Jordan of the United States at the 1979 Australian Open.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.Even in moments when she appeared dead to rights, like after the first set, she kept plugging along, eating back into the lead Halep built. “Enjoy it. Be happy, and keep it going because you are like a kid”.”It’s just the way I play, and also I think my character is like that”.A telling statistic: Of the 33 points Halep won in the first set, only one came via a victor off her racket.Afterwards, she thanked her tennis-coach mother Jelena Jakovleva and thought back to the day she decided it would be strictly tennis at the age of 12 rather than pursuing her love of ballroom.Ostapenko’s carefree attacking tennis ultimately proved too strong for the consistency and experience of Halep, with the favourite helpless by the closing stages. “Maybe I wasn’t ready to win it”, she said.Halep was suffering though and Ostapenko broke to love before levelling the match with a sublime forehand victor.Ostapenko also hailed Halep following a warm embrace with the Romanian who looked devastated. The tournament has always caused an upset to top seeds every now and then both in Men’s and Women’s championships since it is played in the hard court.The difference in approach was clear in the final statistics, Ostapenko ending with 54 winners and 54 errors, to Halep’s eight winners and 10 errors.Halep had lost to Maria Sharapova in the 2014 final.She wrapped up the match in one hour and 59 minutes to make tennis history.