Latvian daredevil Jelena Ostapenko started tennis practicing against a wall — she would be well advised to remember those early experiences when she faces master of defence Simona Halep in Saturday's French Open final.
The 20-year-old, looking to become the first unseeded woman to lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup since 1933, blazed her way to the final, hitting winners and errors with reckless abandon.
Third seed Halep, instead, dug herself into her second French Open final, showing the classical clay court skills that marked her out as many people's pre-tournament favourite.
Nowhere was her tenacity and ability to soak up punishment more apparent than in the quarter-finals when she trailed Elina Svitolina by a set and 5-1 but somehow found a way to win.
Should she win on Saturday she will be the first player since Justine Henin in 2005 to win a singles' title at Roland Garros after saving a match point.
With so many big names absent from the draw this could be Halep's best chance to land a first grand slam — but that is not all that is at stake.
The 2014 runner-up, bidding to become the first Romanian woman to win here since Virginia Ruzici in 1978, would also move top of the WTA rankings with the title.
If anything the pressure is off Ostapenko.
Former men's champion Mats Wilander described the final as a "bonus" match for the young woman from Riga who thrashed 50 winners in the semi-final against Timea Bacsinszky.
She is the youngest French Open finalist since Ana Ivanovic in 2007 and the first unseeded women's finalist since Mima Jausovec lost to Chris Evert in 1983.
She also has the chance to emulate the darling of Roland Garros, Gustavo Kuerten, by making the French Open her first career title — the feat the Brazilian achieved in 1997 on the day Ostapenko was born.
Here's all you need to know about catching Saturday's action live:
When will the Jelena Ostapenko vs Simona Halep match be played?
Jelena Ostapenko will play Simona Halep at Roland-Garros on 10 June.
How do I watch the Jelena Ostapenko vs Simona Halep clash live?
The matches will be broadcast live on television by Star Sports Network.
What time will live coverage of the match start?
The live broadcast of the day match will start at 6:30 pm IST.
Where can you follow the matches online?
The match will be streamed online on Hotstar.
With inputs from Reuters
Published Date: Jun 10, 2017 01:08 pm | Updated Date: Jun 10, 2017 01:17 pm