Friday, 19 January, 2018

Simona Halep won's have an easy time getting over this loss

Bennie Garza | 15 June, 2017, 05:00

Halep sealed it on the fifth break of serve of the set when Ostapenko hit a forehand long.

She is also the first woman in 48 years to make a Grand Slam title her first title.

The fearlessness may change over time as the magnitude of matches and situations increases, depending on the stage of her career, but for now, Ostapenko is hugely risky and though she is capable of losing in the first round, she will go to Wimbledon, where she won the junior title in 2014, with enormous confidence. Three years ago was something new, so now I know. She was, though, about to "do a Kuerten". Sometimes [her shots] were two metres out, sometimes they were in the court and I couldn't touch them.

French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko believes "anything is possible" with the all-out attacking style which brought her a first Grand Slam title.

Halep rescued three break points at the start of the second and things began to unravel for Ostapenko as she sent a forehand wide to fall further behind.

Ostapenko struck 54 winners to Halep's eight, never allowing her rival to settle.

She said of her power game: "I think nobody teach me". I still can not believe it, because it was my dream and now it came true.

The French Open, she added, was always the major she dreamed of winning, from the time she strolled around the grounds as a 12-year-old and taking in the history at the museum. And Ostapenko was quick to admit that there is more improvement to come. "And also I think my character is like that". That also helped me.

- Ostapenko made 23 unforced errors in the first set.

Halep was suffering though and Ostapenko broke to love before levelling the match with a sublime forehand victor.

As for Ostapenko, she is not content to simply bask in the glory of becoming the first Latvian to conquer one of tennis' flagship tournaments. "Hopefully, she'll go home and be around friends and family, regroup, and she'll be pretty keen to get back on the court and get ready at Wimbledon".

Both are seeking their first Grand Slam title. I played well. I think a little bit of luck in some points, all the lines, all the nets. "So I want to really hit the ball". "I was thinking about winning the title". Third seed Halep buckled under the strain of fending off the missiles being launched off Ostapenko's lime green racket. However, the No1 ranking it still within her grasp come the grass season, and she already sits atop the Road to Singapore leader-board.

"It's a tough moment for me, but it's gonna go away, I hope, with the time".

"I didn't really understand how to play on grass and I was like, "How can people play on grass?"

But the difference on this day: Halep faded at the end of the second and third sets, while Ostapenko surged, bringing her mother - a tennis instructor who taught young Jelena how to play - to tears in the stands.

Until Roland Garros, Ostapenko was best known outside of Latvia as a racquet-throwing villain after an incident in Auckland in January, when she nearly hit a ball boy. I was 3-0 down but I was fighting for every point. She put the secret of her success as the errors mounted to letting go some of the anxiety she felt before the match. So I can say I was there, I was close, but again, I lost it.

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