Romania's Simona Halep holds the runner-up trophy after losing to Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko in the women's final match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, in Paris, France, Saturday, June 10, 2017.
Having turned 20 just two days ago, Ostapenko looked down and out when she was a set and 3-0 down in the second but conjured a remarkable comeback to become the first player from Latvia to win a grand slam singles crown.
She hit a staggering 245 winners on her way to the final and blasted 54 to Halep's eight, and matched it however with 54 unforced errors on her way to the title.
Ostapenko is the first Latvian to win a grand slam and her victory over Halep was broadcast on a big screen in Riga, the nation's capital.
If Halep wins, she also will move up to No. 1 in the rankings for the first time. And she would end the tournament with 299 winners-that is more than 42 winners a match. At some point I was like a spectator on the court.
Kuerten made an appearance at Roland Garros this week and said he had arrived in Paris in 1997 with the goal of winning just one match. "I'm really really happy".
"This one hurts a lot maybe because I realise more what is happening", she said, comparing the loss to her 2014 final. "I think she's playing probably similar to my style, so she was my idol".
"Ostapenko was a teenager before Thursday and had never previously featured in the second week of a Grand Slam".
In fact, the Latvian started where she left off during her semi-final against the experienced Swiss Timea Bacsinszky, reeling off winners that had the crowd cheering their approval. "I think I played OK".
Ostapenko was precise: she hit 54 winners that struck the lines and the corners both when it counted and with wheezing speed.
Ostapenko was a set and 3-0 down before turning things round in spectacular fashion on Court Philippe Chatrier. "She deserved to win, she played very well". She's the youngest French Open champion since Iva Majoli won at Roland Garros in 1997, literally the day before Ostapenko was born. I'm sad I couldn't win it but it was a great experience.
And Ostapenko could not hide her joy after a simply stunning win. "I think it is kind of a lucky, lucky number or something".
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