No. 3 Halep faces unseeded Ostapenko in French Open final

No. 3 Halep faces unseeded Ostapenko in French Open final

Halep won the second set with a net-cord victor but on Saturday Ostapenko earned the key break of the third at 3-3 with her own slice of luck. Three years ago it was something new. This is only the eighth major of her career.

Ostapenko, who had the Parisian crowd roaring her on, reeled off the last five games to claim the title and become the youngest female first-time grand slam champion since Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova won the 2004 U.S. Open.

When she drilled a final backhand victor down the line, Ostapenko dropped her racket to the clay and held her arms aloft in delight and disbelief. She faced Pliskova in the semifinals on Thursday and won the match in three sets, punching her tickets into the finals. At some point I was like a spectator on court.

You'd have to think that Ostapenko, at just 20 years old, has a future that will have more trophies coming her way.

Halep seemed to be cruising towards victory when she led 3-0 in the second set and had break points for 4-0 but then the unseeded Ostapenko loosened up and fired winners into every corner and on to every line. At that point it looked like Halep may run away to the title.

"I am really happy".

"Tennis is not popular in our country because it's a kind of expensive sport", said Ostapenko, who will crack the top 20 after her breakout display in Paris. Ostapenko didn't lose a game after that.

Michael Venus of New Zealand and Ryan Harrison of the United States have won the men's doubles final at the French Open.

- Ostapenko was initially coached by her mother, with her father serving as a fitness trainer. She also denied Halep what would have been her first major championship and the No. 1 ranking.

Halep was suffering though and Ostapenko broke to love before levelling the match with a sublime forehand victor. Even now she will rise to second place in the world rankinsg.

Ostapenko held a 40-0 advantage on the Halep serve but couldn't break, was broken in the ensuing game after holding game point and lost the next game after it went to deuce.

Her Romanian opponent since a sterling 2014 - reaching the final of not only the French, but quarter-finals and semi-finals of the Australian and US Open respectively - has made the last eight in grand slams on just two other occasions since then.

Ostapenko continued her feast or starvation style but watched two break points flash by as Halep withstood a sustained assault.

Both are seeking their first Grand Slam title.

It is the second time that Halep lost the French Open at the summit.

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