Published: Fri, June 09, 2017
Sports | By Angel Morales

Halep and Ostapenko to meet in Roland Garros final

Halep and Ostapenko to meet in Roland Garros final

The third-seeded Halep beat No. 2 Karolina Pliskova on Thursday to reach the French Open final, where she will face the unseeded Jelena Ostapenko.

Halep won 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to reach her second Grand Slam final, having finished runner-up here to Maria Sharapova in 2014. She is now ranked fourth in the world behind Angelique Kerber, Serena Williams and Pliskova.

Pliskova would cut the deficit to 4-3 only to blaze a forehand long, leaving Halep to serve out the match after two hours.

Ostapenko has already taken three seeded opponents out of the tournament, but No. 11 seed Caroline Wozniacki may be the toughest challenge she's faced thus far, a far cry from Halep, arguably female tennis' strongest force at present.

Sir Andy Murray of Great Britain, the world number one, will meet Switzerland's Stan Wawrinka in a repeat of last year's semi-final in the other match. I have the mentality to win, but it's gonna be tough.

Ostapenko recorded 50 winners and overcame 45 unforced errors to dispatch Bacsinszky, who turned 28 on Thursday.

In contrast, Halep registered 14 in both columns.

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Halep, the 2014 runner-up, was down 5-1 in the second set, then was a point from losing while down 6-5 in the tiebreaker but came up with a backhand victor down the line to extend the match.

Mladenovic won her first WTA singles title in St Petersburg this year to add to her 2016 French Open doubles title.

"I learned many things during the years, not just after that final", she said. "I think it s a nice gift", said Ostapenko, whose win was greeted by the crowd singing happy birthday.

"I think I have the game".

In the second set, Pliskova was able to break Halep to take a 4-2 lead after each player held serve for the first five games.

She benefited from Pliskova's clumsiness in the first set before the Czexch rediscovered her touch.

"But then I was just trying to be calm and just to try to play my game and just enjoy every moment".

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I just went for it. "All the top players have gone through that and I guess I have to learn lessons and figure how to get through".

Bacsinszky won the last four games to wrap up the second set 6-3.

"But the truth is that I was very disappointed".

Bacsinszky appeared to injure her right thigh muscle when she went out for a return.

"I'm not ashamed to say that she played better", said Bacsinszky. It was her 47th Grand Slam tournament, the most ever played by a woman before earning a championship. Of course she has nothing to lose.

While Ostapenko is assured of making her debut in the top 20 next week thanks to her surprising showing at the French Open, there is more at stake for the No. 3-seeded Halep: In addition to a chance for Grand Slam title No. 1, a victory would allow the 25-year-old to seize the No. 1 ranking for the first time, too.

Logic suggested the steady approach she adopted after losing the first-set tiebreak would get the job done for the experienced Swiss, not the white-knuckle rollercoaster tennis Ostapenko was playing.

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