No regrets for Halep after French Open 'hurt'

by Steven Clarke June 21, 2017, 4:19
No regrets for Halep after French Open 'hurt'

Halep, 25, was playing in her second French Open final, after losing in three sets to Maria Sharapova in 2014. "I am proud of her!" said Vejonis, adding that she has demonstrated a unique achievement in Latvian sports.

"I fought for every point and I'm glad it finished my way".

The concluding set was tit-for-tat but it was always Ostapenko striking the eye-catching shots, such as the back-hand half-volley that drew her level at 3-3. If she plays good, it's very hard that somebody can beat her.

She would beat a former Grand Slam champion, Sam Stosur, a former world No1 Caroline Wozniacki, the reigning Olympic champion Monica Puig, and would finally deny the woman who could claim the top ranking for the first time if she won the title, Simona Halep.

She turned 20 during the tournament and was still a teenager when she lost the first set of her first-round match against Louisa Chirico of the United States.

The French Open may have been her first WTA title, but I doubt it will be her last.

The Latvian stepped in to pummel a weak second serve for 15-40, with Ostapenko grabbing a huge slice of luck when a wayward backhand clipped the net and dropped just over for a 4-3 lead. Because of all the fantastic things she acheived in the span of one tournament, there's no reason to think she can't make a deep run, and possibly get another win, at the All England Club when Wimbeldon commences in less than a month. Keep it going because you are only a kid.

Ostapenko's run is all the more remarkable given her third-round exit at this year's Australian Open represented her best previous Grand Slam performance. Tracy Austin, Monica Seles and Martina Hingis were all 16 when they won their first major singles titles.

But the women's game has been trending older, with Williams' enduring success and with improvements in diet and training methods, which allow players to remain contenders longer.

Ostapenko said she was more than comfortable with dealing with her sudden fame which will be under a harsh spotlight when Wimbledon starts in four weeks' time. He eventually rounded off the set 6-0 in just 30 minutes, keeping the dream of a French Open "La Decima" very much alive. According to Jelena, she just wanted to hit the ball, that is the secret of her unbelievable path to the 2017 French Open tournament.

Victory over Halep means the youngster will walk away with €2.1m in prize money following a memorable fortnight for her in France.

It was fitting that Ostapenko drilled a backhand victor down the line - her favourite shot - on match point.

The Latvian is the youngest Roland Garros champion since Iva Majoli, who was 19 years, 300 days in 1997.

"I knew that Gustavo Kuerten won his first Roland Garros the day I was born, I have no words". "It was my dream".

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