French Open final 'a nice gift' for Ostapenko


Jelena Ostapenko described reaching the French Open final as "a nice gift" after beating Timea Bacsinszky in the battle of the birthday girls on Thursday.

The unseeded Ostapenko became the first Latvian to reach a major final with a 7-6 (7-4) 3-6 6-3 victory on Court Philippe Chatrier.

Ostapenko will face Simona Halep in the final on Saturday after continuing her incredible run at Roland Garros.

The world number 47 will never forget how she celebrated turning 20 and spoiled Bacsinszky's 28th birthday in the process.

"I'm really happy with my win today and it was really tough match. I think was a battle." said the surprise package.

"I'm really happy to be in the final, especially on my birthday. I think it's a nice gift."

She added: "It was a little bit stressful, but not a lot. I was already in the semis, and I was just trying to enjoy the game and show my best."

Bacsinszky was left to ponder what might have been after losing in the last four of the Paris major for the second time, but took the positives from an impressive run.

The Swiss said: "When I lost two years ago, I did a lot of thinking: did I miss a lifetime opportunity? It really affected me. This semi-final, I only tried to take the positive things.

"But the truth is that I was very disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I'm very disappointed today, as well, but I think I'm looking at things from a different perspective.

"I didn't think I would ever make it back. Today's match shows that it is possible to come back. If you're a true professional, if you work hard, if you put all your efforts, all your time in tennis, it pays off and it can happen again.

"This was my second time, so going forward, I think this can help me build more confidence. It's possible. It's possible to do better. It's possible to go further. It's possible to grow."