Over the next two weeks, we're looking back at 10 years’ worth of memorable marathons and top-shelf tennis from the WTA’s boldest and bravest.
See the entire women's and men's lists here, and relive each match with our video retrospectives.
“I was just, ‘OK, I have nothing to lose, I’m just going to hit a winner.’” That was what Jelena Ostapenko told herself as she prepared to return serve on her first—and only—championship point inside Court Philippe Chatrier. It’s one thing to think or hope it, or plan for it in a situation like that.
It’s another thing to do it with one swing. When Halep’s serve came to her backhand, Ostapenko aimed for the corner and found it. The shot was the perfect exclamation point on the least likely, and one of the most thrilling, Grand Slam finals of the decade.
That winner also punctuated the premier fairy-tale run of the 2010s. Ostapenko, who turned 20 that day, was ranked 47th and had never won a WTA tournament. Four of her six wins in Paris had come in three sets. For much of the final, viewed by many as Simona Halep’s long-awaited Grand Slam coronation, Ostapenko’s fairy-tale run seemed destined to end unhappily.
After losing the first set, she trailed 0–3 in the second and 1–3 in third. But she never strayed from her go-for-broke game plan. Ostapenko knew that to get the winners, she had to make the errors, and she would finish with 54 of each. Like The Simpsons’ description of alcohol, Ostapenko’s shot-making was the cause of, and solution to, all of her problems.
The lesson wasn’t lost on her opponent.
“Maybe I wasn’t ready to win it,” Halep admitted. One year later, she was.