Unseeded Ostapenko stuns Halep to claim maiden grand slam title
Unseeded Ostapenko stuns Halep to claim maiden grand slam title
20 Giugno, 2017, 02:05
Having arrived in Paris as the little-known world number 47 from Latvia, Ostapenko leaves as the world number 12 and with her career earnings nearly tripled.
After winning a first-set slugfest with some brilliant extended rallies, the air looked like it came out of Ostapenko's balloon as Halep ran out to a 3-0 lead. That also helped me. "[It] hurts a lot, and I need time just to-I don't know-to go away (smiling)".
Prior to her exploits in Paris, Ostapenko's professional earnings stacked up to just over $1.2million.
She arrived in Paris having reached a final on the WTA tour in each of the last three years but with no title to her name.
It was not always like that.
Ostapenko had the advantage going into the third, but Halep showed her resiliency by jumping out to a 3-1 lead.
"She danced, swam, playedtennis, she played football because she had so much energy. It's made for soccer". "If needed I will play 20 years to have this moment". But after breaking Halep in the next game, Ostapenko didn't waver, setting up her first set point with a monster forehand down the line before forcing a decider with another huge forehand, her 22nd victor of the set.
She had been the tournament favourite this time in the absence of Serena Williams, but again missed out on a first major title.
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.
Again refusing to rein in her aggression, Ostapenko stormed through the final five games - seemingly breaking Halep at will.
From those early days she progressed to juniors and second-tier ITF events, playing in front of just a handful of people.
She powered her way to 54 winners compared to eight for Halep, and that was the primary reason she won the match. "She deserved to win, she played very well". "That's unbelievable. There are not so many players like that".
Jakovleva has taken a step back and watched half of the tournament on TV at home before travelling to Paris.
A year on we were playing late on a Sunday in a major, so that's a nice way to cap it off. "But I'll take exactly where I'm at". In the eternally odd physics of golf, he thought he had been trying too hard to win, so he won by not trying so hard to win.
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