Sábado, 26 May, 2018

History as Ostapenko soars into Paris final

French Open SF preview Halep & Pliskova targeting more than Grand Slam success Who will come out on top
Galena Nuncio | 23 Junio, 2017, 09:08

Earlier, Jelena Ostapenko became the first unseeded women's finalist at the French Open in more than 30 years by beating Timea Bacsinszky on Thursday.

Pliskova would have been the top-ranked player if she had reached the final, but expects Halep to achieve that feat by bringing Ostapenko back down to earth after she beat Timea Bacsinszky in the battle of the birthday girls.

The unseeded Ostapenko came into this year's French Open having never won a match at Roland Garros (0-2), but rallied to a stunning 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3 victory. "I'm just happy with the way I celebrated my birthday", said Ostapenko after the match.

"I hope I can play better than the previous time and that the score will be different", said Halep, who lost in three sets to Maria Sharapova on her first appearance in the final at Roland Garros.

Pliskova didn't give up, saved a break point and broke back Halep, who was still good to remain there, to remain focused and at the end managed to beat Pliskova for the fifth time on six matche played.

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"I was always playing aggressive and trying to hit the ball when I have the chance", Ostapenko said.

- Second seed Karolina Pliskova breaks Simona Halep's serve in the sixth game and claims the second set 6-3.

"I learned many things during the years, not just after that final".

Ostapenko has been creating history throughout the week, as she became the first Latvian to reach a Grand Slam semifinal on Tuesday when she bounced 11th-seeded Caroline Wozniacki 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

Halep earned a spot in the semifinals against the second-seeded Karolina Pliskova.

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Like Ostapenko, Halep is one win away from her first Grand Slam title.

Halep carved out a break for 3-1 in the decider, an inch-perfect pass proving fair reward for her stalwart defence. After dropping the second set, Halep was steadier in the third and closed the match 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

"I'm just happy. It was extremely tough - she's No. 3 in the world and a very tough opponent".

The 2017 champion will be a first-time major victor while victory will also crown Halep as the new world number one, replacing Angelique Kerber. "Then every match I was playing better and better and I got my confidence, and I think it works pretty well". "That helped me win today".

Lleyton Hewitt (2001 US Open), the youngest man to snare the season-ending world No 1, and Andre Agassi (2003 Australian Open), the oldest to reach No 1, excelled under Cahill.

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Thiem dumped out defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia yesterday while Nadal is aiming to win a record 10th title at the French Open. She proved herself by beating the second seed on Thursday, too.

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