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Jelena Ostapenko

tennis player
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Bio At the 2017 French Open, Ostapenko became the first player from Latvia to win a Grand Slam tournament, and the first unseeded player to win the French Open since 1933.
She also won the junior singles event at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships. Ostapenko is known for her highly aggressive playing style, including powerful inside-out groundstrokes and a tendency to aim for the lines.

Ostapenko was born in Riga, to former footballer Jevgēnijs Ostapenko and Jeļena Jakovļeva. Jevgēnijs played professional football for FC Metalurh Zaporizhya in the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia where Jeļena's grandmother still lives. Jeļena has one half-brother, Maksim, who lives in the United States. She was introduced to tennis at age 5 by her mother and idolized Serena Williams while growing up. She also started dancing around that age, going on to compete in the National Latvian Championships for Ballroom Dancing. At age 12 she chose to focus on tennis and credits her good coordination and skilled footwork to her years of dancing. She speaks Latvian, Russian, and English.

Her legal name is Jeļena, but she is known to her family and friends as Aļona. When she was born, her parents' desired name of Aļona was not on the Latvian name calendar, so she was named Jeļena after her mother.Fans in Latvia and elsewhere in Eastern Europe have always called her Aļona, but the name was unknown in the West until her win at Roland Garros in 2017. She uses her legal name professionally in order to avoid administrative confusion.

At the French Open, Ostapenko, then ranked 47th in the world, defeated Louisa Chirico, Monica Puig, Lesia Tsurenko and Samantha Stosur. She then faced Caroline Wozniacki in the quarterfinals. Ostapenko came from a set down to defeat her, reaching her first ever Grand Slam semifinal. She was the first Latvian female player to do so and first teenager in a decade to reach the French Open semifinals (the last was Ana Ivanovic in 2007), opposite Timea Bacsinszky on June 8, the birthday of both players. She beat Bacsinszky 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, and the first Latvian player ever to reach the final of a major. In the final against third-seeded Simona Halep, Ostapenko won in three sets for her first professional title. She became the first Latvian player to win a Grand Slam singles tournament and the first unseeded woman to win the French Open since 1933. Ostapenko also 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.

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