At the start of the French Open, Jeļena Ostapenko was given a 100-1 chance to win the title, according to ESPN. But incredibly, she overcame the odds and recorded a memorable victory over Simona Halep to secure her maiden French Open title. But what do we know about the 20 year old? So here are six interesting facts about Jeļena Ostapenko.
She used to be/still a ball room dancer
In her youth, Jeļena Ostapenko was extremely keen on pursuing a career in ball room dancing. She would constantly juggle her time between tennis and dancing, which eventually ended up being too much to handle. So she decided to focus on tennis, but still pursued dancing as a hobby. In fact, she even credits dancing with helping her fine tune some aspects of her tennis game.
“At home I try and go ballroom dancing four times a week,” Ostapenko says. “It really helps with the footwork on the court. My favourite dance is the Samba.”
“I have the dress, the shoes — everything has to be matching. I go to a club and dance with the teacher there, he’s a professional dancer.”
She is the pride of Latvia
Ostapenko is the first Latvian woman to win a Grand Slam in the Open era. In a country which is not famous for its sporting achievements, Ostapenko is a symbol of pride and hope for everyone.
Her success will act as an inspiration for the youngsters, who consider Ostapenko an icon. Whenever she takes the court, Ostapenko realizes that she is representing her entire country and would never want to let them down.