French Open 2017: Simona Halep advances to final over Karolina Pliskova

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 ideal birthday gift as she overcame Timea Bacsinszky in the semifinals here on Thursday.

But it was her response to being pegged back in the second set that truly won over the Roland Garros crowd, with Ostapenko's power game proving too much for her Swiss opponent as she broke twice to win the deciding set 6-3.

On the other hand, unseeded Ostapenko became the first Latvian to reach a Grand Slam final after registering a 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 6-3 win over Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland in another semi-final clash.

The last woman to win her first title in a Grand Slam event was Australian Chris O'Neil at the 1978 Australian Open, and the last man to do it was Gustavo Kuerten at Roland Garros in 1997. The Romanian broke serve in the third game and benefited from 24 errors by her foe to claim the first set. Pliskova ended the tie with 45 winners and a staggering 55 unforced errors.

"In the third set I just wanted to stay playing aggressive". However, she's also the better player and has big match experience, including on championship Saturday inside Court Philippe Chatrier.

"So unfortunately I could have had a different draw or she [Halep] could have lost yesterday [against Elina Svitolina], which would be probably better for me, but it didn't happen".

Dabrowski, who is from Canada, and her Indian partner fended off two match points on their way to a 2-6, 6-2, 12-10 victory over Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Robert Farah of Colombia for their first Grand Slam title.

Bacsinszky, in her second slam semi-final, turned 28 while Thursday brought an end to Ostapenko's teenage years.

Bacsinszky, the 30th seed, who needed a bandage applied to her right thigh midway through the first set, looked the more likely victor at that point as she sought to celebrate her 28th birthday by surpassing her semi-final run of 2015.

"I felt a little bit tight because it was a semi-final", she said.

Now the opportunity to knock Germany's Angelique Kerber off top spot falls to Halep, who will become the world's highest ranked player if she beats Ostapenko in the final. "I feel really privileged", Bacsinszky said.

Simona Halep and Jelena Ostapenko will meet in the women's singles finals at the 2017 French Open.

Bacsinszky's scouting report on Ostapenko, a pal she played doubles with previous year?

Pliskova only needed to win this match while Halep must take the title.

"Today I'm just gonna have fun with my family and my friends", Ostapenko said of her birthday plans.

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

Halep believes she is in a better position now than she was three years ago.

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

  • Julie Sanders