Ostapenko to attack Halep in Roland Garros showdown
Jelena Ostapenko says she will stay true to her style when she meets Simona Halep in Saturday's French Open final.
The 20-year-old from Latvia is in just her fourth career final - she is yet to win a title, and could become the first player to win her first trophy at a grand slam since Gustavo Kuerten in Paris on the day Ostapenko was born in 1997.
A new grand-slam champion will be crowned at Roland Garros, with pre-tournament favourite Halep having raced through to the quarter-finals before an epic comeback against Elina Svitolina and another ding-dong against Karolina Pliskova in the final four.
And having rattled off 50 winners in her semi-final win over Timea Bacsinszky, Ostapenko says she will keep on the front foot against an opponent who has the number-one ranking in her sights as an additional motivation.
"I'm already in the finals and Simona is a great player," Ostapenko told a news conference.
"And in the match against her of course I need to stay aggressive and to play my game. But it's going to be a tough match and I have to be ready for it.
Olympic champion Monica Puig, one-time grand slam winner Sam Stosur and former world number one Caroline Wozniacki all fell at Ostapenko's feet before she ousted Bacsinszky, but the Latvian says she is yet to fully conquer her nerves.
She explained: "Actually, yesterday [against Bacsinszky] in the second set I was a little bit nervous.
"Maybe you couldn't see that, but I was a little bit nervous inside. But today I'm feeling fine because tomorrow is the final. So, I'm just going to prepare and enjoy the final tomorrow."
Ostapenko's achievements have seemingly caught the attention back in her homeland, with a notable Latvian figure among her well-wishers.
"It's really nice. Yesterday [I had] a lot of calls from Latvia, even the president of the country called. So it was really nice the attention from my country.
"He actually called my mom. So that's what she told me. I mean, because nobody knows my phone.
"But yeah, it was really nice, because the president called. That means a lot already."