Jelena Ostapenko celebrates birthday with 2017 French Open final berth

By The Sports Xchange   |   June 8, 2017 at 3:59 PM
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Jelena Ostapenko celebrated her 20th birthday in style on Thursday while blowing out the candles for her opponent.

Ostapenko outlasted 30th-seeded Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3 to become the first unseeded player to reach the French Open final in 34 years. Mima Jausovec, who hailed from the former Yugoslavia, advanced to the championship match before falling to Chris Evert in 1983.

Thursday's triumph also enabled Ostapenko to become the first Latvian to advance to a Grand Slam final.

Ostapenko will face No. 3 seed Simona Halep of Romania, who recorded a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victory over second-seeded Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

Ostapenko, who is ranked 47th in the world, recorded 50 winners and overcame 45 unforced errors to dispatch Bacsinszky, who turned 28 on Thursday.

Ostapenko has been creating history throughout the week, as she became the first Latvian to reach a Grand Slam semifinal on Tuesday when she bounced 11th-seeded Caroline Wozniacki 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Ostapenko had lost both career matches at Roland Garros before her scintillating run this year.

Bacsinszky recorded five aces in the loss.

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