French Open victor Jelena Ostapenko

Ostapenko moves up 35 ranking places to No 12 after her win at Roland GarrosYOAN VALAT  EPA

Ostapenko moves up 35 ranking places to No 12 after her win at Roland GarrosYOAN VALAT EPA

"There were a couple of games when everything went my way and I was ready to fight for every point".

Her "live by the sword, die by the sword" approach worked wonders on Saturday when she was 3-1 down in both the second and third sets.

To make it a doubly hard day for the 25-year-old, the defeat meant she also missed out on becoming world number one. Clay isn't even her preferred surface - she likes grass better, and won the Wimbledon junior title in 2014 - which made this two-week joyride even more unpredictable.

"From the minute she stepped out there, the first game she played out there was impressive and the last game was very impressive". She also lost in the first round of the French Open a year ago and in 2015 lost in the first round of qualifying.

"I felt like a spectator out there at times", Halep, who had points to lead 4-0 in the second set and was also 3-1 ahead in the decider, told reporters after her second runner-up finish here.

The last woman to win her first tour-level title at a major was Barbara Jordan at the 1979 Australian Open.

"But then I learnt how to play on it and understood the movement".

Not only that but she is the first unseeded woman to win the Suzanne Lenglen trophy since 1933 and she emulated the great Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten by claiming her first title of any kind on the hallowed Parisian claycourts.

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But that shouldn't minimize what the Penguins did to get back to the mountaintop. "They can't slow him down". However, what if Nashville's Big Four defensively becomes a Big Three? "I wish them all the luck, for sure".


Ostapenko burst onto the scene with a brash brand of tennis. The impatience of youth not only showed up in Ostapenko's play but also, occasionally, in her demeanor. "She's fun to watch", she said.

Yesterday was the final of the women's #french open where three-seeded #Simona Halep faced-off against unseeded #Jelena Ostapenko in a battle for their first Grand Slam. Ostapenko also made 54 unforced errors, to Halep's 10.

Ostapenko said she was more than comfortable with dealing with her sudden fame which will be under a harsh spotlight when Wimbledon starts in four weeks' time.

Budge has confirmed to NZME he chatted to Ostapenko's agent Ugo Colombini when he was in Paris and again by phone soon after the final where the Latvian came back from 6-4, 3-0 down to beat Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Still, there were plenty of entertaining points during the back-and-forth match between the disparate styles, played in a slight breeze with the temperature at about 80 degrees (above 25 Celsius) and with nary a cloud marking the azure sky.

Jelena Ostapenko went into the tournament as the 47th ranked player in the world and would be facing the 3rd ranked player in the world, Simona Halep.

"I've been sick in the stomach with emotion", Halep said. "If she's a little bit down over the next week or so, they'll certainly pick her up".

And the fact that at the moment you can have a dart board and you can throw a dart and any number of women can step up and make it through to a final or win one of these tournaments, I think that creates a lot of interest in women's tennis.

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