Jelena Ostapenko overpowers Timea Bacsinszky to reach final at Roland Garros
Jelena Ostapenko v Timea Bacsinszky 7-6(4) 3-6 6-3

Jelena Ostapenko overpowers Timea Bacsinszky to reach final at Roland Garros

Jelena Ostapenko produced a stunning display of power hitting to beat Timea Bacsinszky and seal a spot in Saturday’s French Open final.

Ostapenko will now try to win the first senior title of her career when she faces either Simona Halep or Kristina Pliskova on Saturday. And history might just be on her side.

The last player to win their debut title at Roland Garros was Gustavo Kuerten on June 8, 1997 - the day Ostapenko was born.

"I'm really happy, I love to be here," Ostapenko said after the crowd serenaded her with a chorus of "Happy Birthday" on the day of her 20th birthday.

"It's a great way to celebrate my birthday. I was always playing aggressive and trying to hit the ball when I have the chance."

She is the first unseeded woman to reach the French Open final for 34 years. Not since Mima Jausovec in 1983 has a player outside the leading ranks made it all the way to the trophy decider.

The free-swinging world number 47 launched a fusillade of 50 winners

The Latvian has been the surprise package of a wide open tournament having never previously been beyond the third round at a slam.

Ostapenko's forehand, which this fortnight has averaged three miles per hour faster than Andy Murray's, had helped her blast her way past Sam Stosur and Wozniacki in the previous two rounds.

She produced a string of stunning winners to take a thrilling first set 7-6.

But it was her response to being pegged back in the second set that truly won over the Roland Garros crowd, with Ostapenko’s power game proving too much for her Swiss opponent as she broke twice to win the deciding set 6-3.

Timea Bacsinszky, who turned 28 on the day of the semi-final, would have known what to expect when she took to Philippe-Chatrier, but knowing what was going to come from Ostapenko's racket and counteracting it proved two very different things.

Right from the off Ostapenko showed her confident best, crunching winner after winner, interspersed with unforced errors. Such is Ostapenko's all-or-nothing style that she is guaranteed to have afternoons when her game lets her down.

But a sunny Thursday afternoon in Paris wasn't one of them as she proved way too goof for her older opponent.

Her now trademark smile followed a fearless win in the first set.

And another ferocious forehand helped her break back as Bacsinszky rallied at the start of the second.

A number of unforced errors against a far more consistent Bacsinszky proved the youngster's undoing late in the second set. Yet she showed remarkable composure after being made to wait for the start of the third set by a Bacsinszky bathroom break, smashing her way into the Roland Garros final.

Women's tennis potentially has a new superstar.

Related news

Roger Federer claims 98th career title with victory in Stuttgart

Roger Federer claims 98th career title with victory in Stuttgart

Roger Federer proved too strong for Milos Raonic in the final of the Stuttgart Open, winning in straight sets.

Roger Federer back at number one after win over Nick Kyrgios

Roger Federer back at number one after win over Nick Kyrgios

Roger Federer will be back as world number one in the new rankings next week after coming from behind to beat Nick Kyrgios 6-7(2) 6-2 7-6(5) in the semi-finals of the ATP Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart.

Roger Federer inches closer to top spot after strolling into Stuttgart semis

Roger Federer inches closer to top spot after strolling into Stuttgart semis

Roger Federer was one win away from reclaiming the world number one ranking after he reached the semi-finals of the Stuttgart Open with a 6-4 6-4 win over Argentina's Guido Pella on Friday.

Johanna Konta beats Dalila Jakupovic in straight sets to reach Nottingham semi-finals

Johanna Konta beats Dalila Jakupovic in straight sets to reach Nottingham semi-finals

Britain's Johanna Konta beat Dalila Jakupovic in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 to reach the semi-finals at Nottingham on Friday.

Roger Federer makes winning return in Stuttgart

Roger Federer makes winning return in Stuttgart

Wimbledon champion Roger Federer made a winning return to action as he recovered from a set down to beat Germany's Mischa Zverev 3-6 6-4 6-2 at the Stuttgart Open on Wednesday.

Nadal claims record-extending 11th French Open crown

Nadal claims record-extending 11th French Open crown

Rafael Nadal needed less than a set to take command of the French Open final, and he overcame a late problem with his racket-holding hand to earn a record-extending 11th championship at Roland Garros by beating Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday.

Sensational Simona Halep hits back to win first Grand Slam in style

Sensational Simona Halep hits back to win first Grand Slam in style

Simona Halep finally lifted a maiden Grand Slam title after she beat Sloane Stephens 3-6 6-4 6-1 to win the French Open.

Rafa Nadal cruises into the French Open final after crushing Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets

Rafa Nadal cruises into the French Open final after crushing Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets

Rafael Nadal made light work of Juan Martin del Potro to reach the French Open final with his quest for an 11th title at Roland Garros still on track following a comfortable straight-sets victory.

Dominic Thiem fends off Marco Cecchinato challenge to make maiden Grand Slam final

Dominic Thiem fends off Marco Cecchinato challenge to make maiden Grand Slam final

Dominic Thiem fended off a spirited challenge from Marco Cecchinato to progress to the final of the French Open, courtesy of a 7-5 7-6(10) 6-1 win.

RELATED NEWS

Roger Federer claims 98th career title with victory in Stuttgart
Roger Federer v Milos Raonic 6-4 7-6

Roger Federer claims 98th career title with victory in Stuttgart

Roger Federer proved too strong for Milos Raonic in the final of the Stuttgart Open, winning in straight sets.

Roger Federer back at number one after win over Nick Kyrgios
Roger Federer v Nick Kyrgios 6-7(2) 6-2 7-6(5)

Roger Federer back at number one after win over Nick Kyrgios

Roger Federer will be back as world number one in the new rankings next week after coming from behind to beat Nick Kyrgios 6-7(2) 6-2 7-6(5) in the semi-finals of the ATP Mercedes Cup in Stuttgart.

Roger Federer inches closer to top spot after strolling into Stuttgart semis
Roger Federer v Guido Pella 6-4 6-4

Roger Federer inches closer to top spot after strolling into Stuttgart semis

Roger Federer was one win away from reclaiming the world number one ranking after he reached the semi-finals of the Stuttgart Open with a 6-4 6-4 win over Argentina's Guido Pella on Friday.

Johanna Konta beats Dalila Jakupovic in straight sets to reach Nottingham semi-finals
Johanna Konta v Dalila Jakupovic 6-4, 6-2

Johanna Konta beats Dalila Jakupovic in straight sets to reach Nottingham semi-finals

Britain's Johanna Konta beat Dalila Jakupovic in straight sets 6-4, 6-2 to reach the semi-finals at Nottingham on Friday.

Roger Federer makes winning return in Stuttgart
Roger Federer v Mischa Zverev 3-6 6-4 6-2

Roger Federer makes winning return in Stuttgart

Wimbledon champion Roger Federer made a winning return to action as he recovered from a set down to beat Germany's Mischa Zverev 3-6 6-4 6-2 at the Stuttgart Open on Wednesday.

Nadal claims record-extending 11th French Open crown
Rafael Nadal v Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2

Nadal claims record-extending 11th French Open crown

Rafael Nadal needed less than a set to take command of the French Open final, and he overcame a late problem with his racket-holding hand to earn a record-extending 11th championship at Roland Garros by beating Dominic Thiem 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 on Sunday.

Sensational Simona Halep hits back to win first Grand Slam in style
Simona Halep v Sloane Stephens 3-6 6-4 6-1

Sensational Simona Halep hits back to win first Grand Slam in style

Simona Halep finally lifted a maiden Grand Slam title after she beat Sloane Stephens 3-6 6-4 6-1 to win the French Open.

Rafa Nadal cruises into the French Open final after crushing Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets
Rafa Nadal v Juan Martin del Potro 6-4 t 6-1 6-2

Rafa Nadal cruises into the French Open final after crushing Juan Martin del Potro in straight sets

Rafael Nadal made light work of Juan Martin del Potro to reach the French Open final with his quest for an 11th title at Roland Garros still on track following a comfortable straight-sets victory.

Dominic Thiem fends off Marco Cecchinato challenge to make maiden Grand Slam final
Dominic Thiem v Marco Cecchinato 7-5 7-6(10) 6-1

Dominic Thiem fends off Marco Cecchinato challenge to make maiden Grand Slam final

Dominic Thiem fended off a spirited challenge from Marco Cecchinato to progress to the final of the French Open, courtesy of a 7-5 7-6(10) 6-1 win.