Jueves, 19 Octubre, 2017

Jelena Ostapenko Powers Into Final, To Meet Simona Halep

Clive Brunskill  Getty Images Jelena Ostapenko Powers Into Final, To Meet Simona Halep
Galena Nuncio | 20 Junio, 2017, 23:26

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

The third seed could win her first grand slam title and take the world number one ranking with a victory against Jelena Ostapenko, who became the first Latvian to reach the final of a major.

"I didn't think I would be in the final but every match I've played better", Ostapenko, whose dad Jevgenijs was a professional football player, told reporters.

"I'm really happy, I love to be here", Ostapenko, the youngest woman to reach the French Open final since Ana Ivanovic in 2007, said after former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli and the crowd serenaded her with a chorus of "Happy Birthday". "It actually makes me cry now".

Armed with her new positive attitude thanks to some sharp words from coach Darren Cahill, with whom she made a swift reunion after a brief break, Halep has coped with the pressure well and battled through to a second Grand Slam final.

She said: "It's a big challenge, a big chance".

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"I'm a different player, my game is stronger, I think more about the game, I play smarter", she explained.

- Romanian Simona Halep took the first set 6-4 against an erratic Karolina Pliskova, who recorded 24 unforced errors in the opening 45 minutes of play.

"Thanks Anabel for helping me", she added.

Ostapenko clinched victory with her 50th victor, a forehand into the corner, and has hit more winners - 245 - than anyone else in the tournament despite the men playing best-of-five-set matches.

Ostapenko's forehand formed a stable foundation for her path to victory in the end, while Bacsinszky will have to be content with only matching, and not beating, her career-best finish at a Grand Slam.

On the day she turned 20, Ostapenko played fearlessly, bagging 50 winners during a 7-6 (4) 3-6 6-3 win over Swiss Timea Bacsinszky.

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"But then, like, first match was a tough match, as well, and I won it".

Halep reunited with Cahill in Madrid after the Adelaide mentor walked away following her mid-match emotion in Miami.

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

Pliskova had never been past the third round in 17 previous appearances at majors, but she stunned Serena Williams in the semifinals before losing to Angelique Kerber in the final at Flushing Meadows last September.

The focus switches back to the men today, with Andy Murray insisting that he is the odd man out in the semi-final line-up, having arrived at Roland Garros playing "garbage".

"Third set everything was through the long rally, which I think is better for her and she's winning nearly - not all of them - but a higher percentage, definitely", said Pliskova. Halep will get the job done in possibly in straight sets.

Record champion Nadal in French Open
But it's been a while: The Spaniard, now 31, has not made it past the fourth round at Wimbledon since 2011. Of course, Federer will still be in top contention at Wimbledon in a few weeks' time.

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