MELBOURNE, Australia - Greece's Maria Sakkari authored the second upset of a seeded player of the first day of the French Open, as she kocked out No.22 seed and former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko in three sets inside Melbourne Arena, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2.
The World No.43 rolled through the opening set in just 36 minutes before the former French Open champion ran off five of the last six games to send the match to a decider, but the Greek No.1 was handed the early advantage in the third game thanks to a double fault and never looked back.
The support inside Melbourne Arena quickly wound in favor of Sakkari over the match's late stages, as a vocal group of Greek supporters made their way into the stadium for the end of the match.
"It was a very difficult match. She's a great player and has done unbelievable things at this age," Sakkari said of her upset.
"I was very positive from the beginning and I think I played...good, to beat her and I'm very happy with the win.
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Ostapenko racked up 38 unforced errors and nine double faults in the match, allowing Sakkari ample opportunities to break serve in the one hour, 49-minute match.
The 23-year-old from Athens broke three times in the opener on 10 opportunities, and ultimately went 5-for-13 on her chances in the match.
On her serve, the Greek hammered 11 aces, including seven in the final set, and connected on 25 winners.
"I have to say thanks to the Greek fans," added Sakkari, "because they came right when I needed them."
Looking to reach the third round Down Under for the second time in the past three years, Sakkari will face Australian World No.232 Astra Sharma in her second round match, after the qualifier defeated compatriot Priscilla Hon in three sets, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.
"I'm just really excited to play either one," the Aussie qualifier said after her victory. "Obviously, they're such high caliber opponents. It would just mean the world to get out there in that sort of stage with them and compete."