Unseeded Ostapenko faces Halep in French Open final

Unseeded Ostapenko faces Halep in French Open final

Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky and Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko advanced to the women's singles semi-finals in the French Open tennis championships.

Ostapenko's best chance of winning the final will be to play a similar way against the wily Halep, who can reach world number one if she takes the title.

- Bacsinszky took a medical timeout to receive treatment on her right leg while trailing 4-3.

"It's nice to be back in the finals, I hope this time I can play better".

With her back to the wall, Pliskova upped her game and she broke back to trail 4-3 with a nice forehand crosscourt victor, only for Halep to steal her serve in the following game, when the Czech made a dog's dinner of a routine forehand. It quickly improved, however, and she mostly cruised through to the quarterfinals before her comeback against Svitolina.

Ostapenko's run is all the more remarkable given her third-round exit at this year's Australian Open represented her best previous Grand Slam performance.

But after each player held serve for the next two games, Pliskova was able to come back in the match with a break of her own to cut Halep's lead to 4-3. "I'm going to drink some beer, finally". But Ostapenko regained her nerve to win the final three games in a row and clinch the match.

Bacsinszky, who recorded five aces in the loss, broke through in the seventh game en route to claiming the second set. She had gone more than 1½ years without winning a title at any level. Halep has won 11 of her last 12 matches on clay court.

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This was the prediction of former two-time Grand Slam champion Mary Pierce, who was speaking to Singapore media by phone from Paris on Thursday evening (8 June), on the same day when the French Open women's semi-finals will be played. Especially since reuniting with her coach, who quit in March because of her negative attitude on the court, Halep, who's never won a major, has been considered a favorite to snap that drought here.

The Czech finished with 45 winners to just 14 for Halep, but she made 55 unforced errors to just 14 for Halep.

"I don't think many players win their first grand slam final", she said.

On Thursday, she will face No. 2 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, a 7-6 (3), 6-4 victor over No. 28 Carolina Garcia of France.

"Tennis is not popular in our country because it's a kind of expensive sport", said Ostapenko, who will crack the top 20 after her breakout display in Paris.

Pierce also tipped several other young players to rise up the ranks this season.

Eurosport is also available via Sky Go can be viewed on a number of platforms including Amazon Fire devices, iPad, Mac computers and laptops, Playstation 3, PS4 and Xbox One.

A three-time champion at Roland Garros, Kuerten will be honored before Sunday's final when he will receive his Hall of Fame ring during a ceremony marking 20 years since he won his first title in Paris.

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