It's just so unbelievable to be here!
A telling statistic: Of the 33 points Halep won in the first set, only one - yes, just one! - came via a victor off her racket. "She deserved to win", Halep pointed out, adding that she suffered much more from the loss this time compared with that three years ago. She, too, was looking to win her first major but unlike Ostapenko is a household name and established at the top of the women's game.
Halep, a 25-year-old from Romania, was the 2014 French Open runner-up and would have moved up to No. 1 in the WTA rankings if she had won Saturday.
The match was fascinating due to the completely contrasting styles of play on display.
- Ostapenko made 23 unforced errors in the first set.
So Ostapenko stepped into the considerable opening created by the absences of Serena Williams (who is pregnant) and Sharapova (denied a wild card after a drug ban).
The writing appeared to be on the wall when Halep forged a couple of break opportunities to go 4-0 up, but she was hesitant, and the fearless Ostapenko took full advantage, turning it up a notch to clinch the next four games with a string of winners. So if Jelena Ostapenko catches fire and starts blasting winners - as we know the youngster can do - will Halep panic?
There were plenty of each against Halep: 54 winners and 54 unforced errors. Ostapenko also trailed 3-1 in the third. Ostanpenko's first serve is decent, and though her second could use some work, she continues to attack, attack, attack, with rarely a thought to do anything else.
Halep sealed it on the fifth break of serve of the set when Ostapenko hit a forehand long. She thinks it lends itself to efficient on-court footwork "because you need to be very coordinated, and those small steps are helping".
Halep was gracious in what was a hard moment, exchanging a hug with her conqueror.
After finishing a high-quality backhand to seal the history-breaking win, an excited Ostapenko threw her racquet onto the ground at the Philippe-Chatrier Court.
The ball was tracking wide but clattered into the net, ballooned high into the air and landed in for an improbable victor - and break of service. At such a crucial moment, the lucky break gave Ostapenko a 4-3 lead.
But when Halep led by a set and 3-0 in the second, with three chances to go up 4-0, she became unnerved, perhaps thinking about what it would feel like to lift the trophy. "I have to say a star is born", Evert, working as pundit for broadcaster Eurosport said. "I have no words", said an ecstatic Ostapenko.
"I think it's quite a big deal in Latvia", Ostapenko told reporters.
And it was the 299 winners she hit over the course of seven matches that captured the imagination of the Roland Garros crowd, who roared her to victory on Saturday.