Ostapenko makes history, upsets Wozniacki at French Open

The semi-finals will see two birthday girls facing off at Roland-Garros after Latvian 19-year-old Ostapenko powered her way past former World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 to reach her maiden Slam semi-final.

No. 30 Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland was leading 13th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic of France 6-4, 1-1 at Court Philippe Chatrier, while No. 11 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark was leading unseeded 19-year-old Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia 6-4, 2-5 at Court Suzanne Lenglen. She will play either the second seed Karolina Pliskova or the third seed Simona Halep in the final on Saturday. Her affection for the tournament enticed her back from burnout in 2013 after she'd distanced herself from the game and gone back to school to study hotel management. Bacsinszky knew more than most what to expect, having played doubles with her a couple of times on Tour.

Addressing the French crowd she said: "I am sorry, thank you for the atmosphere".

The second-seeded Czech fended off three break points on her way to claiming the second set 6-3, clinching it with a forehand victor on her second set point.

But even after falling behind 3-1 in the second set, Bacsinszky didn't wilt and won five of the final six games to finish off Mladenovic and return to the semis.

She finally got on the scoreboard in the sixth game, though, as her aggressive game clicked and she began to boss the rallies with a whippy forehand that Wozniacki could not read.

"She kept me on the back foot".

The Bopanna-Dabrowski pair, seeded seventh, defeated the second seeded Sania-Dodig pair 6-3, 6-4 in the 52-minute quarterfinals.

"I had so many great moments on the court, big wins and played a great game", she said.

- Djokovic, after failing to defend his title at any of the past four Grand Slam tournaments.

Ostapenko won the first set 7-6 (4).

Wozniacki, who has never made the semi-finals of the French Open, led 2-1 again in the decider before another rain delay.

U.S. Open runner-up Pliskova will be guaranteed toppling Germany's Angelique Kerber if she prevails against Halep who would need to go on and take the title to seize the top ranking.

Jelena Ostapenko and Timea Bacsinszky both celebrate their birthdays on Thursday when they clash in the semi-finals.

Logic suggested the steady approach she adopted after losing the first-set tiebreak would get the job done for the experienced Swiss, not the white-knuckle rollercoaster tennis Ostapenko was playing.

Mixed in with her scintillating winners, including forehands faster than anything men's world number one Andy Murray has managed here so far, were 45 unforced errors, some of which could have embellished a video nasty. She was playing great.

Pliskova, 25, had said throughout the tournament that she was surprised at her progress on the clay, but for half an hour her powerful hitting held sway and there was little Halep could do.

Dating back to 2007, she made the second round at Roland Garros four times, but then missed much of two years with foot and ankle injuries and came close to retiring from the sport.

"I think it [dancing] helped me". Four women's singles quarter-finalists on the courts found it pretty hard to concentrate on their matches, as they could not keep their eyes open.

  • Julie Sanders