Roland Garros champion Jelena Ostapenko targeted for return to ASB Classic


"I didn't see how people could play tennis on it".

Simona Halep looked to be on the verge of claiming her first Grand Slam title as well as the No. 1 spot in the rankings.

In only her 18th match in one of the four majors, the 20-year-old Latvian fought back in audacious fashion from a set and 3-0 down to blaze past the experienced Romanian.

Yelena Ostapenko has set a new history after becoming the first player to win a Grand Slam final as the country's first player.

She is the first unseeded player to win Roland Garros since 1933 and the lowest-ranked champion.

This year she beat Marina Erakovic in the first round and made it to the semifinals, but had to retire in her match against eventual tournament victor Lauren Davis during the third set because of a viral illness.

Right from the start of the French Open final, Jelena Ostapenko made quite clear to anyone unfamiliar with her name, or her game, what she is all about. Surviving a three-setter with Halep, the Ukrainian won her third title of the year and her second on clay, making her one of the shortlist favorites for the title.

However, Budge already put in the groundwork to bring her back while he was in Paris for the first week of Roland Garros, although her appearance fee will no doubt have gone up now she's a grand slam victor.

Her win on Saturday, which was also her first main tour career title, came in just her eighth Slam appearance. "Jelena Ostapenko did it right here this week", Martina Navratilova, a victor of Grand Slam singles title, told the Tennis Channel.

Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko poses with her trophy in front of a sculpture of Suzanne Lenglen on June 11, 2017 after winning her final tennis match against Romania's Simona Halep.

Halep appeared on the way to a relative runaway victory, leading by a set and 3-0 in the second, then holding three break points for the chance to go ahead 4-0. So what if Ostapenko wound up dropping that set, then facing big deficits in the second and third?

Also, former French Open champions Iva Majoli and Mary Pierce announced that they will return to Singapore as WTA Finals Legend Ambassadors.

"When I first played on grass, I didn't like it", she said, recalling playing on grass at Roehampton in England as a 15-year-old.

"I mean, I don't know", she said.

"I'd say I have a pretty long way to go there", said Vondrousova recently, attempting to play down any comparisons. "When she is hot, you don't touch the ball, you become..."

"At some points, I was like a spectator on the court", Halep said.

Ostapenko certainly was ready, sooner than even she could imagine.