Who is Jelena Ostapenko? Everything you need to know about the French Open champion


Unseeded Jelena Ostapenko's incredible run to the final and subsequent victory at the French Open has seen her thrust into the spotlight.

The 20-year-old Latvian stunned the tennis world as she reached the showpiece with Simona Halep at Roland Garros and then added another chapter to her remarkable story with a 4-6 6-4 6-3 win on Saturday.

And after her astounding comeback, we have delved into Ostapenko's background to paint a picture of the new champion and her achievements...


Unsurprisingly, as a huge outsider, Ostapenko, who turned professional in 2012, left the record books in tatters as she beat Halep in the Roland Garros final.

The world number 47 became the first player to win their maiden trophy at Roland Garros - or indeed any grand slam - since Gustavo Kuerten's triumph on June 8, 1997, the day of Ostapenko's birth.

She also joins Kuerten among six unseeded French Open singles winners, with Margaret Scriven - back in 1933 - the only other woman to achieve the feat.

At 20 years and two days old, Ostapenko is the youngest first-time grand slam champion since Svetlana Kuznetsova at the US Open in 2004.


As she improbably took the title, Ostapenko's aggressive style of play further endeared her to the Roland Garros crowd.

Throughout the tournament, the Latvian has shown off her immense power, with an entertaining approach leading to plenty of unforced errors.

The statistics from her victory over Halep suitably showcase this point, Ostapenko hitting 54 winners and making 54 unforced errors to her opponent's tallies of eight and 10, respectively.

Ostapenko built momentum after an error-strewn start and made Halep work with a phenomenal 22 winners in the second.


Before beating Halep, Ostapenko allowed the media to get to know her as she answered a number of questions on topics other than the final.

Perhaps not a typical 20-year-old, she revealed a passion for ballroom dancing - she was professional for seven years and it's something she believes helps her footwork - and Agatha Christie's detective novels, sometimes reading to pass the time during tournaments.

Sporting talent runs in the family, too, as Ostapenko's father was a professional footballer in Ukraine.


Prior to her exploits in Paris, Ostapenko's professional earnings stacked up to just over $1.2million. 

Victory over Halep means the youngster will walk away with EUR2.1m in prize money following a memorable fortnight for her in France. 



Much will now be expected of Ostapenko after this breathtaking introduction to the world stage and she will have to deal with increased pressure in future tournaments.

Wimbledon is the next grand slam tournament of the year next month and Ostapenko's style of play should be well suited to playing on grass.

She has only previously reached the second round, but, having overcome such long odds at the French Open, she will be full of confidence heading into the competition.