PARIS, June 8, 2017
Jelena Ostapenko from Latvia and Romanian Simona Halep will compete in Saturday’s singles final at Roland-Garros.
Ostapenko emerged victorious from the battle of the birthday girls with Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland, winning 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 in two hours and 24 minutes. The 20-year-old from Latvia reaches her first tournament final and it comes at a Grand Slam.
“It was a tough match. Timea was playing great in the first set. She was changing the rhythm also, playing aggressive sometimes, making dropshots. I was just trying to stay aggressive and to go for a shot when I could. I think it was kind of important that I won the first set, even the second I lost, but in the third set I found my game again,” Ostapenko told afterwards. She has become the first unseeded woman in 34 years to make the final in Paris.
“Yeah, I’m really happy to be in the final, especially on my birthday. I think it’s a nice gift. Today I’m just gonna have fun with my family and my friends. Tomorrow I’m going to practice and get ready for the final.”
Halep fought past the tournament’s number two Karolina Pliskova from the Czech Republic, winning 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. The third seed from Romania closeed out the contest after exactly two hours of play with a thunderous first serve which is returned long.
“Today was a great battle there, big battle. Every point was very important. I felt like that on court, and I felt that I have to run for every ball. I have to be focused for every ball. So good that I could do that in the third set for every, every single ball. So I’m happy with my performance,” told Halep, who finished runner-up in Paris to Maria Sharapova in 2014.
“It’s a great feeling to be back in the final. What can I say? It’s nice. I feel different, anyway. I feel like I have more experience. I’m of course happy, but I’m not that excited. I’m looking forward to play it. I’m okay. I’m feeling good.”
Ostapenko and Halep will meet for the first time.