Twenty five-year-old Czech player beats Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 to claim her maiden Grand Slam title.
Unseeded Barbora Krejcikova won her first Grand Slam title by beating Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in the French Open final.
This was only the fifth major tournament in singles for Krejcikova, a 25-year-old from the Czech Republic.
She is the third unseeded women’s champion in the last five years at Roland Garros.
Krejcikova now will try to become the first woman since Mary Pierce in 2000 to win the French Open singles and doubles titles in the same year.
Krejcikova and partner Kateria Siniakova already own two Grand Slam doubles titles and are scheduled to play in the final of that event in Paris on Sunday.
The 31st-seeded Pavlyuchenkova was playing in her first Grand Slam final in the 52nd major tournament of her career.
She was treated for a left leg injury late in the second set on Saturday.
The 25-year-old Krejcikova dedicated her victory to her mentor, the former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna who died of cancer at the age of 49 in 2017.
"It's hard to put into words. I cannot believe I have just won a Grand Slam," said Krejcikova who was still outside the top 100 when the 2020 French Open took place last October.
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Jana is proud ❤️🇨🇿#RolandGarros | @BKrejcikova pic.twitter.com/kEYMIazl2m— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 12, 2021
Tournament filled with surprises
"I spent a lot of time with Jana before she died. Her last words to me were 'enjoy tennis and try and win a Grand Slam'," she said.
"I know she's looking after me. All this is pretty much because she is looking after me.
"It was amazing that I got the chance to meet her. She was such an inspiration. I miss her and I hope she's really happy."
This was only the second WTA singles title for Krejcikova, but they have come in her past two tournaments.
She won the trophy on clay at Strasbourg, France, last month and is now on a 12-match winning streak.
She is the sixth consecutive first-time Grand Slam champion to collect the trophy at Roland Garros, where the red clay can diminish the effectiveness of speedy serves and the sometimes odd bounces produced by, and particular footwork required on, the surface can frustrate players.
Saturday's matchup between two first-time Grand Slam finalists was perhaps a fitting conclusion to a two weeks filled with surprises.
Naomi Osaka, a four-time major champion seeded No. 2, withdrew after one match — and a conflict with Grand Slam officials over a rule that mandates speaking to the media — to take a mental health break.
No. 1-ranked Ash Barty, the 2019 champion, retired from her second-round match with a left hip injury.
No. 3 Simona Halep, the 2018 champion, never showed up because of a hurt calf.
Serena Williams was beaten in the fourth round.
Defending champion Iga Swiatek lost in the quarterfinals.
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A tight third set 💪@NastiaPav | #RolandGarrospic.twitter.com/v12PqJfJuI— wta (@WTA) June 12, 2021