Bacsinszky takes semi-final defeat in her stride

Bacsinszky takes semi-final defeat in her stride

Bacsinszky takes semi-final defeat in her stride

Jelena Ostapenko, who has yet to win a Tour title, is one away from picking up her first grand slam crown after a 7-6, 3-6, 6-3 victory against Timea Bacsinszky in an epic semi-final at the French Open on Thursday.

Attention turned exclusively to the women's competition on Thursday, and Halep thrived under the spotlight as the tournament's third seed defeated Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to progress to her second French Open final.

The Latvian became the first Grand Slam finalist from her country as she overpowered 30th seed Bacsinszky 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 6-3 in the last four at Roland Garros.

It's Halep's second Grand Slam final and first since almost winning in Paris three years ago in an absolutely stellar title match against Maria Sharapova.

The Latvian powered her way to a 7-6 (7/4) 3-6 6-3 victory to become as the youngest player to reach a grand slam final since Caroline Wozniacki in NY eight years ago.

Should she beat Halep, it would be her first title - emulating the feat of Brazilian great Gustavo Kuerten who also announced himself to the world by opening his account at Roland Garros in 1997. I have the mentality to win, but it's gonna be tough.

Asked if she would still celebrate her 28th birthday, she joked: "Yes".

The Romanian was under pressure early in the decider but finally chased down a forehand and fired a brilliant cross-court victor to grab a 3-1 lead.

A tournament once shrouded in mystery, the 2017 French Open has delivered a sublime matchup for the women's final between Simona Halep and Jelena Ostapenko. She made 14 unforced errors against the No. 2-seeded Pliskova, whose total was 55. She landed the crucial blow to pull 4-3 ahead before sealing victory in two hours and 25 minutes.

A rasping Pliskova forehand gave her a battling hold and she warmed to the task in the second set, causing Halep far more problems with brutal groundstrokes and a venomous serve as she broke for the first time to take a 4-2 lead.

"Then every match I was playing better and better". After Ostapenko won the first set, Bacsinszky broke for 4-3 in the second and went on to level.

"It's a big challenge, a big chance". Both players were trying for the first time in his career to reach the final of the tournament series Grand slam.

Despite Switzerland's Bacsinszky being a French speaker, Ostapenko was the crowd favorite, perhaps due to her flashy game.

However, the gritty Romanian proved just the stronger in the deciding set after winning a long game to break for 3-1 with a brilliant running forehand pass and then fought off two break points in the following game.

Garcia joins Kristina Mladenovic, beaten by Swiss Timea Bacsinszky in her quarter-final on the exit route at Roland Garros, where the French bubble has burst in a couple of days.

"I practiced in Bienne a few weeks ago with (Swiss player) Victorija Golubic and it was snowing".

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