Jelena Ostapenko has produced an incredible performance against Simona Halep in the Roland-Garros final, belting a backhand winner for her first major title.
Jelena Ostapenko completed her wonderful and wholly improbable two-week journey from teenage hopeful to dazzling Grand Slam champion on Saturday when she came from a set down to blitz Simona Halep at Roland-Garros with one of the tournament’s most stupendous performances.
Tennis was left hailing perhaps its most startling women’s champion in a generation as the unseeded Ostapenko, ranked only 47th in the world and without a single tour-level title to her name before the tournament, came from a set and 3-0 down to destroy the Romanian favourite 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 with a blizzard of winners on Philippe-Chatrier Court.
Just two days after celebrating her 20th birthday, Ostapenko left the whole nation of Latvia in raptures after becoming their first-ever Grand Slam champion and the utterly fearless manner in which she achieved her incredible triumph in a classic final identified her as a welcome new luminary for the sport.
It’s hard to believe after tripping the light so fantastically here, that there will not be a lot more to come from the former ballroom dancing professional.