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Jelena Ostapenko Pulls A Thrilling Upset To Win The French Open

At one point Saturday, it looked as if Simona Halep was on her way to her first ever major victory. She'd won the first set of the French Open against her unseeded opponent, and despite fierce play from Jelena Ostapenko, few onlookers expected the unseeded Latvian to mount a comeback.

So much for that.

On the strength of an unrelentingly aggressive attack, hitting just about as many unforced errors as she did winners, Ostapenko ultimately wore down Halep, taking the second and third sets in thrilling fashion. Ostapenko, only a few days removed from her 20th birthday, upset Halep to take home her own first-ever major.

She won the final, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

"I cannot believe I am champion at 20 years old. I love you guys. It's so amazing to be here," she said after the match.

She added: "I knew Simona was a great player. But I tried to play aggressive and everything turned my way. I fought for every point. I'm glad it finished my way."

As The New York Times reports, Saturday's win makes Ostapenko the first unseeded woman to win the French Open since 1933. The paper notes she is also the first Latvian ever to win a singles Grand Slam.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Colin Dwyer covers breaking news for NPR. He reports on a wide array of subjects — from politics in Latin America and the Middle East, to the latest developments in sports and scientific research.