Halep misses another chance to win Grand Slam title

Vincent De Villiers
Junho 20, 2017

When the young, powerful, and oh-so-exciting Latvian set out on her journey to the final here, she had played only seven previous Majors and won just four matches-none of them at her solitary French Open appearance.

PARIS, June 10 Jelena Ostapenko stunned third seed Simona Halep 4-6 6-4 6-3 in the French Open women's final on Saturday to become the first Latvian to win a grand slam title. The last player, male or female, to win their first career title at a major was Gustavo Kuerten in 1997 - incredibly on the Ostapenko was born, so perhaps it was just fate.

Ostapenko also recovered from a break behind in the third set and finished the contest with a flashing backhand victor to become the first unseeded player to win the title since Briton Margaret Scriven in 1933. The 20-year old hit three aces and 54 winners to claim her maiden title. The unseeded tennis player really believes now that "anything is possible".

The more players who, like Ostapenko, can step up, the better.

- Ostapenko came back from 1-3 down to draw level at 3-3 with a crucial hold of serve against Halep.

Fittingly she thumped a backhand victor past Halep to seal victory, before tossing her distinctive green headband into the crowd with a look of disbelief. "I think she's playing probably similar to my style, so she was my idol".

"I felt that if I was aggressive I would find my game", Ostapenko said to NBC reporter Mary Carillo on the broadcast after the match. I was very close to take the first Grand Slam and also No. 1 in the world. I still can not believe it, because it was my dream and now it came true.

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"It's a tough moment for me, but I hope it will go away with time", said the third-seeded Halep, who is from Romania. It's an incredible thing, keep it going because you are only a kid!

Simona Halep was very disappointed after the event, and you could see on the face of the Romanian player, that she's heartbroken and sad.

- She guided a lovely forehand down to line to draw level with her 36th victor of the match.

"Enjoy it. I am a little sick in the stomach but I want to win it one day". The always honest Halep was transparent in her admission that she was wracked with nerves in the hours leading up to the biggest match of her career. A win in Paris would also have handed her the top spot in women's tennis. "Maybe I wasn't ready to win it", she said.

However, the Latvian made more of those errors in the first two sets than she did in the third. But after breaking Halep in the next game, Ostapenko didn't waver, setting up her first set point with a monster forehand down the line before forcing a decider with another huge forehand, her 22nd victor of the set.

Since then she has won 20 matches and lost only three, and Cahill has no doubt she will have more chances to win slams. Just look at Angelique Kerber, the world No. 1 who lost in the first round. Also in the deciding moments, I played pretty well in those games.

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