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13 Июн 2017 в 04:19am

Things like this are not supposed to happen. In just her eighth grand slam event, the unseeded, fearless Jelena Ostapenko produced a stunning fightback to win the French Open title here. Her 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 victory over Simona Halep, the www.officialwinnipegjets.com/Adidas-Dale-Hawerchuk-Jersey  pre-tournament favourite, who would have been world No1 had she won the title, made her the first unseeded woman to win here in the open era. At 20, she is the youngest woman to win here since Iva Majoli of Croatia in 1997, the first Latvian to win a grand slam singles title and the first person to win their first tour title at a grand slam since the Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten lifted the first of his three titles here in 1997, something he achieved on the day Ostapenko was born. French Open: Ostapenko stuns Halep with remarkable fightback to win title – as it happened Jelena Ostapenko won her first ever title after beating world No4 Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 after Halep had charged into a first-set lead at Roland Garros Read more Halep will wonder how she failed to clinch victory, having led by a set and 3-0 and having three break-point chances in a long fourth game of the second set that would have put her two breaks up. The Romanian also led 3-1 in the third set but, in truth, nothing about Saturday’s final was in her hands against Ostapenko, whose outrageous ball-striking sent the ball flying past her outstretched racket time and time again as her hopes of a first grand slam title were dashed in the dirt. It was a stunning victory for a woman who went into the French Open as the world No47, a 100-1 shot and not even spoken about as a contender. The junior Wimbledon champion three years ago, Ostapenko had never even been beyond the third round of a grand slam until this fortnight but the way she played here suggests that she will be here for many years to come. It was also fitting, on a sultry day at Roland Garros, that she should finish it off with yet another backhand return down the line, one of 54 clean winners she struck in the final. “I still cannot believe I am the Roland Garros champion and I’m only 20,” said Drew Stafford Womens Jersey Ostapenko, who showed no nerves and never deviated from her simple, devastating gameplan of attack, attack, attack. “I know Simona is a great player and she was playing great but I kept trying, stayed aggressive and I’m very happy things turned around for me. I have no words,” she added. Advertisement In the absence of Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka, all missing for a variety of reasons, this year’s French Open had been considered one of the most open of all time. Halep, most people’s favourite after winning in Madrid and reaching the final in Rome, was expected to be able to tame Ostapenko and when she withstood an early barrage of groundstrokes from the Latvian to take the first set, the 25-year-old was on track. Knowing Ostapenko was capable of reeling off winners seemingly at will, Halep was well aware she needed to stay patient, accept when she was outhit and wait for the mistakes, while taking any chance she had to be aggressive. She must have hoped that Ostapenko would freeze on the big occasion but instead the Latvian looked relatively relaxed. The simplicity of her game means she does not second-guess herself, as she proved in beating players such as Sam Stosur and Caroline Wozniacki en route. She had also come from a set down three times on her way to the final and when Halep failed to take any of her three break points at 3-0 in the second set, she had hope. That translated into belief when she cracked several winners on www.officialwinnipegjets.com/Adidas-Dustin-Byfuglien-Jersey  her way to levelling at 3-3 and when she broke for 4-3, she whipped up a crowd who were already willing her on, gasping at times at the ferocity of her flatly-struck groundstrokes. Though Halep broke back for 4-4, Ostapenko broke again and served out to force a decider. British teenager Alfie Hewett fights back to win French Open wheelchair final Read more At the start of the third, Halep saved two break points and then broke on her way to a 3-1 lead as Ostapenko’s radar went astray as she sprayed the ball long and wide, her focus dipping for a moment. However, from 3-1 down she broke back for 3-3 and then, thanks to a bit of outrageous fortune when she got a dead net cord on a backhand that had been heading way wide, the 20-year-old broke to lead 4-3. Finally in front in the match for the first time, Ostapenko might have blinked but she held serve brilliantly for 5-3. At 30-40 on the Halep serve, Ostapenko had match point and she rifled an unstoppable backhand down the line to clinch victory, leaping in the air and turning in delight in the direction of her two coaches, her mother and the former Spanish player, Anabel Medina, who had been on the edge of their courtside seats throughout. Both players struggled on second serve and though Halep may chastise herself for not attacking more, she rarely had the chance. Ostapenko defended well when she needed to and as soon as she got in position, or even sometimes when she was not, she slapped the ball at break-neck speed. Halep will be world No2 when the women’s rankings are updated on Monday and she Jack Roslovic Jersey was gracious in defeat. “All the credit for what you have done,” she said. “It’s an amazing thing. Enjoy it be happy and keep it going because you’re like a kid.” She may be a kid but the kid is a grand slam champion and if she can continue to play without a semblance of fear for as long as possible, then this may be the first of many


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