Ostapenko celebrates birthday with French Open final berth

French Open SF preview Halep & Pliskova targeting more than Grand Slam success

Can Pliskova find a way past the clay-court specialist

Simona Halep reached her second French Open final on Thursday (June 8) with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Karolina Pliskova, taking her to within touching distance of a first Grand Slam title and the world number one spot.

The match on Thursday was also a joint birthday celebration for the pair but Ostapenko will have the better memories after holding her nerve on the biggest day of her career.

Should Ostapenko, who had never won a match at the French Open before last week, beat Halep she would become only the second unseeded player to win the women's title after Great Britain's Margaret Scriven achieved the feat in 1933.

"I really happy, I love to play here and I'm just happy the way I celebrate my birthday", Ostapenko grinned.

"I am really happy. I think it's a nice gift". I expect her to give everything she has, to hit all the balls, to play with confidence.

Halep is the only break he took the first set, the second set Pliskova has already scored once at the reception, and in the next game played three break points and leveled the score in sets. I hope to win this time.

It looked like the same might happen in the third set when Bacsinszky fought back from 3-1 to 3-3 but Ostapenko had learned her lesson and clinched victory with a forehand into the corner - her 50th victor. "But what I like even more is her hunger, and you can see it on her face".

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Not since Mima Jausovec in 1983 has an unseeded player reached the French Open final, while Ostapenko is the first Latvian grand slam finalist and the youngest at any slam since Caroline Wozniacki eight years ago. Ostapenko took out Timea Bacsinszky, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3.

Halep will enter this year's final as the favourite but either way it's guaranteed there will be a first-time Grand Slam victor on Saturday. Bacsinszky led by a set and a break but as the finish line beckoned she began to feel the pressure and lost the last ten games in a row.

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. Halep just has to be more consistent with her serve in order for easier matches to take place.

It was a first Slam title for both the 37-year-old Bopanna and his 25-year-old partner from Ontario.

Simona Halep didn't disappoint and beat Karolina Pliskova 6-4 3-6 6-3 after two hours, a result that will allow her to be World No. 2 again overcoming the Czech player.

She certainly seemed more relaxed against second seed Pliskova and used her clay court nous to defeat the big-hitting Czech.

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