10 Things you did not know about 2017 Roland Garros Champion Jelena Ostapenko

Published 06/16/2017, 2:22 AM EDT
Jelena Ostapenko with her 2017 Roland Garros trophy


20-year old Jelena Ostapenko surprised the tennis world by winning the 2017 Roland Garros Championships the previous week. Latvian Ostapenko was unseeded for the tournament but won the tournament. She beat 2014 Roland Garros finalist Simona Halep in the final.

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Here are 10 things that you did not know about the new star in Women’s Tennis

Her mother used to be her coach

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Jelena Ostapenko with her mother

Ostapenko’s mother, Jeļena Jakovļeva, introduced her to tennis at the age of 5. Her mother was a tennis coach much before Ostapenko’s career started. Ostapenko’s mother used to coach her in the early part of her career.

Her current coach is Anabel Medina Garrigues.

She was introduced to Ballroom Dancing as a 5-year-old

Young Jelena Ostapenko

Ostapenko started dancing around the age of 5, going on to compete in the National Latvian Championships for Ballroom Dancing. At age 12 she chose to focus on tennis and now credits her good coordination and skilled footwork to her years of dancing.

She won Bronze medal in Girls’ Doubles at 2014 Summer Youth Olympics

Jelena Ostapenko won the Bronze medal at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics Girls’ Doubles in Nanjing, China.
Jeļena Ostapenko of Latvia and Akvilė Paražinskaitė of Lithuania won the bronze medal, defeating Sofia Kenin of USA and Renata Zarazúa of Mexico in the bronze medal match, 6–3, 7–5.

She won 2014 Wimbledon Junior Championship

Jelena Ostapenko with her 2014 Wimbledon Girls’ Singles Trophy

Ostapenko won the singles event at the junior 2014 Wimbledon Championships. Jeļena Ostapenko won the tournament, defeating Kristína Schmiedlová in the final, 2–6, 6–3, 6–0 in the Girls’ Singles event.

She made her WTA tour main draw debut at the 2014 Tashkent Open

Jelena Ostapenko at 2014 Tashkent Open

She made her WTA tour main draw debut at the 2014 Tashkent Open. Having been awarded a wild card, she played Israeli Shahar Pe’er in the first round, defeating the former world number 11 in straight sets. In round two, she lost to Russian Ksenia Pervak.

She made her Grand Slam Main Draw debut at the 2015 Wimbledon Championships

Ostapenko at the 2015 Wimbledon Championships

Jelena Ostapenko competed in the main draw as a wildcard entrant, having won the 2014 Junior Wimbledon tournament.
She defeated 9th seed Carla Suárez Navarro of Spain 6-2 6-0 in the first round but lost to Kristina Mladenovic of France 4-6 5-7 in the second round.

She made her first WTA final at the 2015 Coupe Banque Nationale

Jelena Ostapenko and Annika Beck after the 2015 Coupe Banque Nationale final.

Ostapenko played her first WTA final in September 2015 in Quebeck City at the 2015 Coupe Banque Nationale. She lost the match to the 5th seeded German Annika Beck 2-6 2-6.

Being unseeded she set new records

Ostapenko set new records at the French Open.

She beat Timea Bacsinszky in SFs in three sets to make the final; being the first unseeded female player to make the final of the French Open since Mima Jaušovec in 1983.
She also became the first unseeded woman to win the French Open since 1933.

First player in 20 years to win a Major as the first career title

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Ostapenko became the first player since Gustavo Kuerten to win their first career title at a Grand Slam; Kuerten won his first title at the 1997 French Open on the day Ostapenko was born.

Making her country proud

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2017 Roland Garros victory meant that Ostapenko became the first Latvian to reach a Major final and also the first Latvian to become a Major Champion.
With the win, she reached a new career-high ranking of world No. 12.

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Ameya Mahajan

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