Ostapenko and Halep will determine the champion of Roland Garros

Women's No. 3 seed Simona Halep of Romania made a comeback into the final at Roland Garros after three years with a three-set victory over the second-seeded Karolina Pliskova, while Latvian promising star Jelena Ostapenko got a flawless birthday gift as she overcame Timea Bacsinszky in the semifinals here on Thursday.

She will play either the second seed Karolina Pliskova or the third seed Simona Halep in the final on Saturday. Halep denied the Czech the No. 1 ranking.

The Latvian teenager, ranked 47th in the world, did not wilt after dropping the first set to the 26-year-old Wozniacki, the world No. 12, who has played in two Grand Slam finals. "The first match was a tough one (against Louisa Chirico) and I won it". I felt like that on court, and I felt that I have to run for every ball.

Pliskova, also in quest for the world No. 1 place, bounced back in a 6-3 win in the second set.

Halep, who lost to Maria Sharapova in the 2014 final, was thankful still to be in the tournament after her remarkable recovery from a set and 5-1 down against Elina Svitolina in the quarter-finals. "It's a big challenge, a big chance".

Suddenly, Halep had to defend, something she does with poise and grace, but Pliskova had recovered her forehand and it made all the difference as she cracked a victor to seal the second set. Don't get me wrong, I'm very disappointed today, as well, but I think I'm looking at things from a different perspective. But I'm confident as well.

"I never played against her". Of course she has nothing to lose. "I'm happy, but I'm not that excited". Anyone who knows the Swiss would know that asking her to say anything in just three words is a tall order.

Ostapenko, whose average forehand speed of 76 miles per hour this tournament has eclipsed that of Andy Murray (73), continued to let fly with a bombardment of winners and errors.

- Halep won the opening set 6-4.

A sliced forehand, a shot she likes, went into the net.

Thus, Saturday's first-ever meeting between Ostapenko and Halep presents not just another battle between power vs. defense and point construction, but a vast difference in terms of what's at stake.

The 2015 semifinalist did rally to force a third but was always under pressure on serve in the decider.

During the first set of three tennis players have exchanged breaks, and at the tiebreak constantly attacked Ostapenko has played a more reliable and took the lead.

In her six matches so far at this year's French Open, Ostapenko has crunched 245 winners.

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

Q. 9-7. Rohan Bopanna: I'm just joking. Also semi-finals in Wimbledon.

Serbian Ivanovic was honored in a ceremony on Philippe Chatrier court after Thursday's match: The 2008 champion retired in December. No other man or woman has won 10 championships at the same major in the Open era, which began in 1968.

"I was nearly celebrating after the first round what I won".

The first set seemed to fit the pattern many expected.

Halep's defensive skills make her one of the top players on the red dirt - the slowest surface.

  • Julie Sanders