Ostatapenko is the first Latvian to win a Grand Slam and not only did the president from her country call her after her semifinal win, but many of her peers were overflowing with praise for the new star in tennis. Ostapenko, only a few days removed from her 20th birthday, upset Halep to take home her own first-ever major.
The junior Wimbledon champion in 2014, she will now head to the All England Club next month among the contenders.
This is Latvia's biggest achievement in sports so far.
A forehand down the line brought up Ostapenko's 36th victor, and with it a huge roar from the captivated home crowd, as she drew level at one set all. But as her record in the past two weeks suggested, she produced some of her best tennis when cornered.
She was born in Riga on June 8, 1997 - the same day Gustavo Kuerten won his first professional title by winning the French Open, the same feat Ostapenko has now achieved.
And then, in the third, Ostapenko again summoned a veteran's resolve, taking the last five games after being down a break at 3-1.
Simona Halep looked to be on the verge of claiming her first Grand Slam title as well as the No. 1 spot in the rankings. However, Ostapenko rallied and started to reel in her Romanian opponent.
"Serena is my idol".
Halep, one of the pre-tournament favourites, was beaten 4-6 6-4 6-3, three years after losing another tight final to Maria Sharapova at Roland Garros. Same with Petra Kvitova, a two-time victor at the All England Club, who just began her comeback from a knife attack.
"Ostapenko was a teenager before Thursday and had never previously featured in the second week of a Grand Slam".
"I wish you good luck for the season". "And we just want to create some rivalries now". "And Jelena has more focus if I'm not there". While other players take the slow waltz to victory, Ostapenko is a woman in a hurry.
One thing to keep in mind about Ostapenko: Her favorite surface is not the red clay used at the French Open.
She even received a phonecall from Latvia's president.
Having arrived in Paris as the little-known world number 47 from Latvia, Ostapenko became the first player to win their maiden tour title at a Grand Slam since Gustavo Kuerten on June 8, 1997 - the very day Ostapenko was born - and ended the day as the world number 12 with her career earnings nearly tripled.
She didn't much care for the green stuff back when she was 15.
"Time will tell, but she certainly has the game and the presence of mind". It was always my dream, when I was a child I was watching players here. 'I knew she had it inside of her, it's just trying to get her to dig down deep and really commit to it and she's been great since. I thought grass is for soccer. "It's made for soccer". "She deserved to win, played really well, all the credit".
There's a lot to like about Ostapenko's tennis, and her attitude.
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