Gracious Halep hails shock French Open champion Ostapenko


A gracious Simona Halep acknowledged she had been beaten by the better player following Jelena Ostapenko's stunning triumph in the women's French Open final.

Third seed Halep had the opportunity to claim her maiden grand slam title and the world number one ranking on Saturday, but was sensationally beaten in three sets by world number 47 Ostapenko, who arrived at Roland Garros having never won a WTA Tour title.

An ultra-aggressive style again reaped rewards for the 20-year-old Latvian, whose respective winner and unforced error tallies (54 and 54) dwarfed the respective numbers of her opponent (eight and 10).

Halep, who also lost the 2014 French Open final to Maria Sharapova, paid tribute to Ostapenko in a news conference, stating: "She played really well, all the credit. She was hitting very strong. At some point I was like a spectator on court. She deserved to win."

Ostapenko was a set and 3-0 down before turning things round in spectacular fashion on Court Philippe Chatrier.

"It's a tough moment for me, but it's gonna go away, I hope, with time," Halep added.

"I will keep working, because I really want to repeat what I have done this tournament. We will see what is gonna be.

"I think it was a good tournament. To play a final, it's an amazing thing.

"I don't believe I did something wrong, [or] too wrong. I think I played okay. I played well. But I think a little bit of luck in some points, all the lines, all the nets. I don't know. I think everything was by her side.

"As I said, she deserved to win. She played really well in the very tough moments for her when I was up a set and 3-0. So I can say I was there, I was close, but again, I lost it.

"I cannot change anything, so I just have to look forward. I stayed there, I was fighting, but I think she was better than me."