Get to know 20-year-old surprise French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko
Jelena Ostapenko made history on Saturday at Roland Garros, upsetting No. 3-seed Simona Halep in three sets to win the 2017 French Open championship, her first pro tennis title.
The win marks several historical moments in tennis history for Ostapenko. She is the first Latvian to win a Grand Slam singles title. She is the first unseeded woman win at Roland Garros since 1933.
The young Latvian—who celebrated her 20th birthday on Thursday during the French Open—has certainly made her mark on the terre battue in Paris. Get to know new World No. 12 Jelena Ostapenko below.
She has never won a WTA tour-level singles title
Despite making it to three WTA finals (Charleston, 2017, Doha, 2016 and Quebec City in 2015), Ostapenko has never won a WTA tour singles title. By winning the French Open title, she is be the first player to win his or her debut title at French Open since Gustavo Kuerten on June 8, 1997, which is, remarkably, the same day Ostapenko was born.
Ostapenko does have one doubles WTA title on her resume—she won the trophy this year in St. Petersburg with Alicja Rosolska.
She is first teen to reach French Open women's semifinal since 2007
Before her 20th birthday on Thursday, 19-year-old Ostapenko made history by becoming the first teenager since Ana Ivanovic in 2007 to reach the semifinals at Roland Garros, after she upset No. 11-seed and former World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in one hour and 53 minutes in the quarterfinals.
She can hit the ball—hard
Take a look at this stat comparison for average forehand speeds during 2017 Roland Garros:
Clay isn't even her best (or favorite) surface
Despite her remarkable run at the French Open, Ostapenko said that clay isn't where her game excels, and her WTA bio says that her favorites surfaces are grass and hard.
"Clay is not my best surface," she said after defeating Wozniacki. "But I really love to play here, because here the clay is a bit different from other clay. It's pretty fast, and I think it fits my game pretty well."
She was a junior Wimbledon champion
In July 2014, then-17-year-old Ostapenko pulled off a 2-6, 6-3, 6-0, 91-minute comeback victory to beat Kristina Schmiedlova and win the 2014 Wimbledon juniors title.
She began her clay season with a new coach
According to WTA Insider, Ostapenko started her clay court season with a new coach, Anabel Medina Garrigues, a 34-year-old Spaniard who is still an active player on the WTA tour but hasn’t played since August of last year due to a lingering shoulder injury. Now in an assistant coach role with Ostapenko's team, Medina Garrigues has helped the Latvian excel on clay. (She once held the Guinness World Record for having the most clay titles among active players.)
She was an Olympian in Rio in 2016
Ostapenko can also call herself an Olympian. Representing Latvia, lost to Sam Stosur in three sets in the opening round in Rio in 2016. (Ostapenko avenged that loss in Paris last week, beating No. 23-seeded Stosur in three sets in the fourth round.)