Bacsinszky, Ostapenko advance to French Open semis

Jelena Ostapenko presented herself with the flawless 20th birthday gift by reaching a first French Open final after blasting past Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky on Thursday.

The 47th-ranked Ostapenko, the first Latvian player to reach a Grand Slam final, will play No. 3 Simona Halep, who beat second-seeded Karolina Pliskova.

Earlier, Ostapenko won her birthday battle against Bacsinszky to become the first unseeded woman to reach the French Open final for 34 years.

“I mean, when I came here, ” Ostapenko said, her words spilling out with nary a pause in between, “of course I didnt expect I would be in the final.”.

Ostapenko, who celebrated her 20th birthday on Thursday, had never won a match at the French Open before last week. Pennetta, 33, became the oldest woman in the Open era, which dates to 1968, to become a Grand Slam champion for the first time - then announced her retirement to the world, right there on the court. Ostapenko, rightly so, has for the most part played this tournament like she has nothing to lose. That is 2 miles per hour faster than ATP world No. 1 Murray, whose forehand is not too shabby, and, wait for it, just 3 miles per hour slower than Rafael Nadal, who has built his career on his forehand.

“In some moments, ” Ostapenko said, “I felt a little bit tight.”.

Ostapenko presented herself with the ideal 20th birthday gift by reaching a first French Open final after blasting past 30th seed Bacsinszky, a semi-finalist also in 2015.

Simona Halep defeated Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 in the French Open semifinals on Thursday.

Despite failing to record a single ace while Pliskova notched seven, per the IBM Slamtracker, it was the French contender's unforced error count that proved her undoing, conceding a massive 55 to Halep's 14.

It was a nightmare start for Pliskova as a double fault gifted Halep two break points in just her second service game.

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.

In the semifinals, Ostapenko, who is now ranked 47th in the world, will take on Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky, who is now ranked 31st in the WTA rankings.

Ostapenko is the first Latvian grand slam finalist and the youngest at any grand slam since Caroline Wozniacki in NY eight years ago. I came through a tough match yesterday, but I just care about today.

But her final thought was of her mother, who refused to travel to Roland Garros because when she visited in 2015, her daughter promptly lost to Andreea Mitu in the second round. "I was always playing aggressive and hitting the ball when I had a chance. I just want to remain focused". "She trusted her instinct and hit a great backhand", Bopanna said. And in 2013, Bartoli was 15th when she beat Sabine Lisicki, who was 23rd; that marked only the second time in the Open era that two women without a Grand Slam trophy met for the Wimbledon championship.

  • Julie Sanders