PARIS, France - Unseeded Jelena Ostapenko will be all that stands between Simona Halep and not only the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen and the French Open title on Sautrday, but the World No.1 ranking.
Should Halep win her mainden Grand Slam title in Paris on Saturday, she will rise to the top spot in the WTA rankings. Already the highest-ranked player ever from Romania, Halep would become the first from her country to be ranked No.1 in the world.
A victory would give Halep 7,550 ranking points, passing Angelique Kerber's current total of 7,035. Should Ostapenko win the title, Halep will be ranked No.2 with 6,850 points.
"I will play for two things: My first Grand Slam and No. 1 in the world. It's a big challenge, a big chance," Halep said, after a three-set semifinal win over Karolina Pliskova. "I think I have the game. I have the mentality to win, but it's gonna be tough. I expect her to give everything she has, to hit all the balls, to play with confidence - but I'm confident as well."
Kerber has spent a total of 29 non-consecutive weeks at No.1 in her career, and if Halep rises to the top spot, she will be the third woman to top the WTA rankings this season. After winning the Australian Open, Serena Williams moved to the No.1 ranking as well.
"I'm ready to face [Ostapenko], and I'm ready to face another final," Halep said. "It's a big challenge. It's a big thing. If it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen, two things in the same time."