Unseeded Ostapenko stuns Halep to claim maiden grand slam title

Women's No. 3 seed Simona Halep of Romania made a comeback into the final at Roland Garros after three years with a three-set victory over the second-seeded Karolina Pliskova, while Latvian promising star Jelena Ostapenko got a ideal birthday gift as she overcame Timea Bacsinszky in the semifinals on Thursday.

Although Ostapenko's next game was sloppy, allowing Halep to break back, she won the final two games with some relentless hitting, including four clean winners in the final game, to take the final to a deciding set.

Halep, a 25-year-old Romanian, would have secured the No. 1 ranking by winning, but she faltered, just as she did in 2014, when she lost her first French Open final in three sets to Maria Sharapova.

She emulated the darling of Roland Garros, Gustavo Kuerten, by making the French Open her first career title - the feat the Brazilian achieved in 1997 on the day Ostapenko was born.

She also has history on the line as she would be the first Latvian to win a major.

She eventually lost the match 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in her second final at Roland Garros.

If she wins, Ostapenko will be the first woman to win her maiden title at a Grand Slam event since Christine O'Neil at the Australian Open in 1978.

"It's tough to know what to expect against Ostapenko. I was around watching (Martina) Hingis come up and (Steffi) Graf come up and Monica Seles, and I just see something special and the fact that she's so fearless".

Ostapenko is yet to win a singles title and this is her first time beyond the third round of a major.

Ostapenko, whose average forehand speed of 76 miles per hour this tournament has eclipsed that of Andy Murray (73), continued to let fly with a bombardment of winners and errors.

"At some point I was like a spectator on court", Halep said. "I'm so happy, I have no words".

Had Halep been fully fit, she would've been most people's favourite but for her to make such a swift recovery has been remarkable.

No one would've had Ostapenko down to reach the final.

"I think I can not believe I'm the Roland Garros champion", Ostapenko said.

"I was always playing aggressive and trying to hit the ball when I can". Ostapenko, meanwhile, will rise to No 4 if she wins and to No 8 if she is runner-up.

The quarter-final against Svitolina, won by Halep despite she was on the score of 3-6 1-5, proved a thing: Simona seems finally ready under the mental point of view as well.

Obviously, both are chasing their first Grand Slam titles but there are also significant rankings changes on offer. She finished the match with 54 winners and more than 50 unforced errors. I hope to win this time."But I am facing a young opponent, it will be a big challenge". "Of course I'm nervous, but it's nice feeling", Halep said Friday, when she spent some time in the stands at Court Philippe Chatrier, watching Andy Murray face Stan Wawrinka in the men's semifinals. "But then I felt: 'I have nothing to lose, so I'm just going to enjoy the match and do my best'". But Ostapenko would not go quietly, winning that game and the next three en route to forcing a third set.

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