Ostapenko’s rise to the top

Jelena Ostapenko scripted history on Sunday by becoming the first unseeded player to clinch the French Open women’s singles title.

Jelena Ostapenko with the French Open title in Paris on Sunday.   -  AP

Jelena Ostapenko scripted history on Sunday by becoming the first unseeded player to clinch the French Open women’s singles title.

In tennis, skills have to complemented by financial support. And she has had help along the way.

A day before the final, her father Jevgenijs spoke of anonymous sponsors. “We had to find a few different sources of revenue — via the Internet, doing a few different jobs, using our savings. But we found enough money — luckily two generous benefactors appeared who gave us money and asked to remain anonymous.”

She has also received considerable support from the Grand Slam Development Fund (GSDF) as a member of several junior touring teams between 2010 and 2012.

According to the International Tennis Federation, the Grand Slam Development Fund was established in 1986 to encourage and increase competitive opportunities in developing tennis regions. The Fund has contributed over $45 million to tennis development since its inception, with over $3.1 million available for distribution in 2017.

The fund has helped increase the number of nations represented in Grand Slam tournaments and other international competitions. Roland Garros runner-up Halep was also of the beneficiaries of the fund.

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