By Jake Davies

  • Five Reasons why Jelena Ostapenko will win Roland Garros
PARIS, FRANCE – As it approaches the conclusion of the Women’s Roland Garros draw, we look at the five reasons why Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko will be victorious and will lift the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen on Saturday.

 

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Halep has everything to lose, while Ostapenko has it all to gain

Comparing the two players and their respective journeys to the Roland Garros final you have to say that Simona Halep has all the pressure and expectation to deliver a first Grand Slam title and to repay coach Darren Cahill for the faith he has shown in the Romanian. Many expect Halep to pick up that maiden title, which helps Jelena Ostapenko incredibly in handling the additional pressure of competing in a first major final, which is not easy in itself.

Halep had the pressure of being one of the Roland Garros favourites from the beginning, while Ostapenko has already stated that she did not expect to be in this position, so she can swing away with greater freedom on Saturday.

 

Confidence

Some players need an accumulation of matches and collective match wins to gather great confidence and self-belief on tennis’ biggest stages, but I feel like Ostapenko possesses that inner-confidence going into any match. The Latvian believes completely in the way she approaches tennis and has faith in the fact that if she plays her best that she can beat anybody.

 

Rally is in her hands

The newly-turned 20-year-old has the attacking prowess to deliver heavy blows to even the greatest of defenders on a tennis court. That was evident in Ostapenko’s quarter-final match against Caroline Wozniacki, where she dispatched of the Dane by hitting 38 winners in total. The course of each and every rally is usually in the hands of the Latvian. That makes a huge difference as psychologically a player knows that they are in control of their own destiny on the court.

 

Dealing with expectation

The one major question mark surrounding Halep is how she deals with being the favourite in a Grand Slam final. The Romanian has come incredibly close to winning a major on numerous occasions, which adds to the mental baggage leading into the 2017 Roland Garros final.

 

Ostapenko has the impressive clay-court form to push Halep to the limit

Halep has unquestionably had the best clay-court season among her peers, but Ostapenko has notched up some decent wins and performances that suggests this final will not be one-sided in the slightest. The 2014 Wimbledon junior champion has shown that the run to the Charleston final was no fluke and that she is not just in the final for the occasion – she is there to win it all.

Ostapenko & Halep will play for the Roland Garros title on Saturday at 3pm (2pm BST).

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