Unseeded Ostapenko tops Halep at French Open for 1st title

Latvian underdog Jelena Ostapenko won her first Grand Slam title in a thrilling manner as she came back from one set down to beat No. 3 seed Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in women's singles final at the 2017 French Open here on Saturday.

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.

A gracious Simona Halep acknowledged she had been beaten by the better player following Jelena Ostapenko's stunning triumph in the women's French Open final. 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.

Halep, beaten by Maria Sharapova in the final here in 2014, had been the favourite from the start pf the tournament and looked to be cruising at a set and 3-0, with points for 4-0.

- Following her title win, Ostapenko will move up to a career-high world number 12 from 47 in the WTA rankings. "I'm glad it finished my way", added the Latvian who finished the tournament with 299 winners, more than any other woman or man.

"Sometimes I felt like a spectator", the defeated third seed told a news conference.

"I'm looking forward to Wimbledon because grass is one of my favorite surfaces", she said, according to ESPN. I will keep working, because I really want to repeat what I have done this tournament.

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Halep came out strong, winning the first set 6-4.

The 25-year-old would have replaced Germany's Angelique Kerber as world No. 1 if she had won, but she was overpowered. But she held, and went on a four-game surge, playing the only way she knows how: from the front foot and going for the lines. "It's just the way I play".

"I still can not believe I won this".

Halep consolidated with a gritty hold for 3-0 before Ostapenko fought off a trio of break points to stall her rival's momentum and spark an incredible comeback.

"Of course I would like to win probably all of the grand slams". So I will work hard to climb the ranking and maybe win some more titles...

But a little more than an hour later, Ostapenko stood at the podium, holding the championship trophy, albeit awkwardly, delivering her winner's speech. I think I have the game.

From Halep's point of view her first time out of the gates at a Slam final, she was surrounded by an entourage of around 50 family and friends, and this time she kept it simple - and it nearly worked.

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