Birthday girl Jelena in singles final
Latvian Jelena Ostapenko blazed a trail into the French Open final with a 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3 victory over Swiss Timea Bacsinszky in a battle of the birthday girls on Thursday.
Paris: Latvian Jelena Ostapenko blazed a trail into the French Open final with a 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3 victory over Swiss Timea Bacsinszky in a battle of the birthday girls on Thursday.
On the day she turned 20 the free-swinging world number 47 launched a fusillade of winners to become the first unseeded player to reach the women's singles final at Roland Garros since Mima Jausovec lost to Chris Evert in 1983.
A match of wildly fluctuating fortunes, with barely a service hold in sight, appeared to be slipping away from Ostapenko when she lost four games in a row to lose the second set against Bacsinszky, who was hoping to celebrate her 28th birthday by going one better than her semi-final run in 2015.
But Ostapenko played fearlessly in the decider and pounded away a 50th clean winner to become the first Latvian player to reach a Grand Slam final. Earlier, former French Open runner-up Simona Halep staged a remarkable fightback and saved a match point to reach the semi-finals with a 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-0 win over Elina Svitolina on Wednesday.
Romanian third seed Halep trailed by a set and 5-1 against the hard-hitting fifth seed but somehow dug herself out of a hole before storming to victory to set up a semi-final against Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova.Ukrainian Svitolina saved four set points at 5-6 and then had a match point in the tiebreak which Halep saved.