Jelena Ostapenko completed her stunning run through the French Open draw on Saturday, striking 54 winners to defeat Simona Halep, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, and claim the 2017 Roland Garros title – and with it, her first-ever tour crown.
Here’s a little more on this rising star from Latvia:
The Jelena Ostapenko File
Residence: Riga, Latvia
Current Rank: 47
Career-High Rank: 33 (January 2017)
Best US Open Finish: 2R (2015)
- Prior to Ostapenko, the last player to claim a first tour title at the French Open was men's champion Gustavo Kuerten on June 8, 1997 – the same day Ostapenko was born.
- In winning her maiden Grand Slam title, the first Latvian player to reach a Grand Slam final dismissed 2016 Olympic gold medalist Monica Puig and four seeds: No. 23 Sam Stosur, No. 11 Caroline Wozniacki, No. 30 Timea Bacsinszky and No. 3 Halep.
- Her French Open crown makes the big-hitting Ostapenko the first unseeded woman to win a Grand Slam title since Kim Clijsters at the 2009 US Open and the first unseeded woman to win Roland Garros since Margaret Scriven Vivian in 1933. She is also the youngest French Open champion since 19-year-old Iva Majoli in 1997 and the youngest Grand Slam women’s singles champion since 19-year-old Maria Sharapova won the 2006 US Open.
- Heading into this year’s event, Ostapenko had never won a match at the French Open, falling in the first round in her only main-draw appearance a year ago, and her best performance at a Grand Slam event was reaching the third round at the Australian Open in January. She has played in the US Open main draw twice, reaching the second round in 2015 and losing to Petra Kvitova in the first round a year ago.
- Overall, the French Open marked her fourth tour final. She reached the Charleston final earlier this year on green clay, the Doha final in 2016 and the Quebec City title match in 2015. In February, she teamed with Alicja Rosolska to capture her first tour doubles title, in St. Petersburg, Russia.
- Ostapenko was a ballroom dancing prodigy before giving up dance to focus on tennis. She developed into a standout junior, winning the 2014 Wimbledon girls’ singles title and peaking at No. 2 in the world junior rankings. As a professional, she has improved her ranking each year, from No. 308 at year-end 2014 to No. 79 in 2015 and No. 43 in 2016. With her title in Roland Garros, she will crack the Top 20 for the first time, checking in at No. 12.
They Said It!
“I cannot believe I am champion at 20 years old. I love you guys. It's so amazing to be here. I knew the history and on the day I was born, Gustavo Kuerten won his first tour title at Roland Garros. I have no words, it is my dream. I'm so happy. I knew Simona was a great player. But I tried to play aggressive and everything turned my way. I fought for every point. I'm glad it finished my way.” – Ostapenko to the French Open crowd, during the trophy ceremony