Jelena Ostapenko v Timea Bacsinszky - player profiles

Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko reacts after winning her tennis match against Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki at the Roland Garros 2017 French Open on June 6, 2017 in Paris.

Timea Bacsinszky, who turned 28 on the day of the semi-final, would have known what to expect when she took to Philippe-Chatrier, but knowing what was going to come from Ostapenko's racket and counteracting it proved two very different things.

"I think she managed to play way better than me", Mladenovic said.

Timea Bacsinszky said there is a fire burning inside her and she is surprising herself after breaking French hearts to reach the Roland Garros semi-finals for the second time by defeating Kristina Mladenovic.

Both had to endure winds whipping up dust in their eyes during their respective ties.

"I'm really happy I still can't believe it", the world No 47 said. Ivanovic won the title at the French Open the next year.

"It was really hard because we had all the seasons rolled into one today".

Bacsinszky's opponent in the last four won't be former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki but rather the 2014 Wimbledon junior champion Jelena Ostapenko.

"I think it [dancing] helped me. I think there was probably some nerves at the beginning of the match but it was great to see her come back and play aggressive and fierce tennis especially at such a young age against a great player like Wozniacki".

"I know because we played doubles together previous year in Wuhan... I feel exhausted - and I'm sure you do, too".

Romanian Simona Halep has shown the full extent of her defensive skills to beat Karolina Pliskova 6-4 3-6 6-3 and reach her second French Open final. A backhand bunted wide gave Bacsinszky a 5-3 lead, and forced Mladenovic to serve to stay in the hunt.

"I love you all", the bubbly Ostapenko told the fans after claiming the biggest win of her career.

Ostapenko and Bacsinszky will play each other on Thursday, which happens to be the date of both competitors' birthdays.

A three-hour delay ensued - the French Open is the lone grand slam without a roof, though that will finally change in 2020 - the type that can so often switch momentum in matches.

At times during a match of 16 service breaks the impetuosity of youth betrayed her as she seemed on the verge of youthful tantrums in the hot sunshine, especially when she lost four games in a row to lose the second set.

She held to force Bacsinszky to serve it out, and the Swiss was equal to the task, ensuring she gets to play in the semi-finals tomorrow - her birthday. "We had a hurricane, a sandstorm, and we nearly had snow, too".

Ultimately it wasn't meant to be and the 26-year-old's wait for a maiden grand slam title continues.

In his quarterfinal, nine-time French Open champion Nadal faces No. 20 Pablo Carreno Busta; defending champion Djokovic plays No. 6 Dominic Thiem in a rematch of a 2016 semifinal won by the Serb in straight sets.

  • Julie Sanders