She again summoned a veteran's resolve down 3-1 in the third set, taking the match's last five games and, fittingly, striking a pair of winners on the last two points.
"It is a big thing in Latvia - they were beaming my match back to a giant screen in the city centre". It's just the way I play.
Even more remarkably, she is the first player, man or woman, to win their first title in a Grand Slam event since Gustavo Kuerten won the men's crown here, a feat he achieved on the day Ostapenko was born. And also I think my character is like that. Halep committed more errors, and Ostapenko held on with a good forehand forcing the error from the Romanian. It looks like it was the right decision.
She has stunned 2014 finalist #Halep 4-6 6-4 6-3 to win her maiden Grand Slam title!
"I think Simona, maybe she felt a little bit nervous because she had a lot of pressure".
"I knew about the history", the newly crowned champion added. I've just enjoyed it so much.
Incredibly, she walloped 54 winners during the two-hour contest, matching her error count, as she threw caution to the wind on a boiling hot day on Court Philippe Chatrier.
"I don't believe I did something too wrong today", Halep said. "She deserved to win".
On Friday, Jelena Ostapenko celebrated her 20th birthday. Ostapenko's average forehand speed topped that of men's No. 1 Andy Murray this fortnight. "And Jelena has more focus if I'm not there". Halep finished off the game in a lengthy rally with Ostapenko committing another unforced error to lead 5-4. It's her second grand slam final.
The impatience of youth not only showed up in Ostapenko's play but also, occasionally, in her demeanour.
Plus, one must marvel at her tenacity and ability to come from behind.
But the question remained in the third - could Ostapenko maintain the momentum with that high-risk game?
Time for another Ostapenko resurgence. The Latvian got 57 percent of her first serves in and won 69 percent of the points on it. Halep got 73 percent of her first serves in but only won 55 percent of the points on it. Ostapenko broke the third seed's serve, eight times out of 19 and Halep broke Ostapenko's serve, six times out of 16.
But she doesn't want to stop there. It belied the moment and enormity of the occasion, especially at her age.
Halep will wonder how she failed to clinch victory, having led by a set and 3-0 and having three break-point chances in a long fourth game of the second set that would have put her two breaks up.
"At the Australian Open she played very well but lost when 5-2 up". When the ball landed, it dropped inside the line.