Tennis

'Anything is possible' for new French Open champion Ostapenko

Now that Jelena Ostapenko has one Grand Slam title under her belt, she is hungry for more.

"It was always my goal to win a Grand Slam title, now I want to win them all," said the 20-year-old Latvian, who stunned favourite and world No. 4 Simona Halep 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 on Saturday to become tennis' most unlikely Grand Slam champion.

It was Ostapenko's first career title as she became the lowest-ranked winner in Paris, taking the trophy in just her eighth Major appearance.

Next up on the Grand Slam circuit is Wimbledon where Ostapenko was junior champion in 2014.

Her title ambition will be slightly easier to achieve now that Serena Williams, her idol, is off the Tour, expecting her first child in September.

But Ostapenko, who will rise to world No. 12 from 47th after her win, said she sees a lot of Williams' feistiness in herself.

"Serena is my idol. She has a strong personality which I like and she has a really aggressive style on court. She's fun to watch," she said.

Ostapenko's game certainly mirrors the 35-year-old American's power. In Saturday's final, she fired 54 winners and 54 unforced errors. She ended her campaign with 299 winners - more than any woman or man in the tournament.

"If I am having a really good day and I'm hitting really well, I think anything is possible," she said.

But Ostapenko admitted that she once believed grass courts were suitable only for football and not tennis.

"When I first played on grass, I didn't like it," she said, recalling playing on grass at Roehampton in England as a 15-year-old. "I didn't see how people could play tennis on it. I thought grass is for soccer.

"But then I learnt how to play on it and understood the movement. Now I really like it."

Meanwhile, Maria Sharapova will miss the grasscourt season, including this month's Wimbledon qualifying tournament, after failing to recover from a thigh injury she suffered during last month's Italian Open. - AFP