PARIS — Unseeded Jelena Ostapenko became the first Latvian player to win a Grand Slam title when she upset third seed Simona Halep of Romania 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 at the French Open on Saturday.
In an incredible storyline, the 47th-ranked Ostapenko had never won a tour-level title before winning this French Open.
The last person to win their debut title at the French Open was Brazilian Gustavo Kuerten, who captured the first of his three French Open titles on June 8, 1997, the very day that Ostapenko was born.
“I can’t believe I am the Roland Garros champion and I am only 20 years old,” said Ostapenko, to the enthusiastic crowd who cheered for her throughout the match. “It was my dream always as a child to win here.”
Ostapenko trailed 6-4, 3-0 before she mounted a comeback against Halep, who was also a French Open finalist in 2014. Even in the third set, Ostapenko trailed 3-1 and had to fight back to capture the win.
Ostapenko will make her top 20 ranking debut with the win, rising to No. 12 with the victory.
Halep, who will move to No. 2 in the world, would’ve become the No. 1 player in the world if she had won.