Sport

Bacsinszky weathers Mladenovic storm in Roland Garros

Bacsinszky weathers Mladenovic storm in Roland Garros”

The semi-finals will see two birthday girls facing off at Roland-Garros after Latvian 19-year-old Ostapenko powered her way past former World No 1 Caroline Wozniacki 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 to reach her maiden Slam semi-final.

Even though she is unseeded, Ostapenko's 4-6 6-2 6-2 victory could hardly be classified an upset as the 19-year-old Latvian has now beaten the Dane three times on clay since April, striking a combined 148 winners in the process. "It was really tough to keep my concentration, but I'm really happy and proud".

"Because to play semi-final of Roland Garros on your birthday, I think it's really nice".

Ostapenko is the first teenager to reach the Roland Garros semi-finals since Serbia's Ana Ivanovic, and the first to play in a Grand Slam semi-final since American Madison Keys at the 2015 US Open.

Ostapenko, who had defeated Australian Samantha Stosur in the last 16, and Bacsinszky are set to meet for a place in the final on Thursday - which will be a birthday for both players.

Second seed and defending champion Novak Djokovic was set to take on sixth seed Dominic Thiem, while fourth seed and big favorite Rafael Nadal was set to face No. 20 Pablo Carreno Busta.

"Being aggressive is my style of game and I was just trying to play aggressive today", Ostapenko said after the match. Gale-force winds buffeted the two women early on, and they exchanged breaks as the red dust hurtled around the court. The most recent was in this years Prague Open, a match Ostapenko won in three sets.

Karolina Pliskova has leveled her semifinal match against Simona Halep at the French Open.

Approaching unsafe weather prompted chair umpire Carlos Ramos to suspend play after 20 minutes with Bacsinszky serving at 4-3, love-15.

Mladenovic tried to look on the positives of her French Open campaign, which at one point had been in doubt because of a back problem. "The drills we were doing were all very basic, but we spent a lot of time on the court". Waves of weather - "We had a hurricane, a sandstorm, and we nearly had snow too", Bacsinszky said in her on-court interview - disrupted both players' games, but she said she was ready for a heavy surface.

Bacsinszky didn't let her guard down after the break and held serve twice to win the set 6-4. We had a sand storm, a hurricane and we nearly had snow too.

Ostapenko dominated play in the final set after the second rain delay to improve to 4-0 all-time against Wozniacki.

The matchup suits Ostapenko, the 2014 Wimbledon junior champion: She is 4-0 against Wozniacki.

But the elements were not done, and she suffered a cruel time violation warning as she caught another errant ball-toss, and the French woman broke.

Ostapenko took only two of 11 break points in the first set, but was more clinical when the chances continued to come in the second set.

But their outings have been put back a day, joining the other two men's quarter-final clashes.



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