The women’s semi-finals are set for this year’s Roland Garros, and if anyone has missed the entire tournament and is just taking a look at the draw, he is bound to be surprised. With the big names missing out in this year’s French open, the trophy was up for grabs and the players haven’t disappointed. With the likes of Petra Kvitova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Angelique Kerber, Agnieszka Radwanska and Garbine Muguruza crashing out earlier than expected, there is a buzz all around the tennis world as to who is going to lift the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen trophy over their heads.
HALEP vs PLISKOVA
PLISKOVA def GARCIA ( 7-6, 6-4)
HALEP def SVITOLINA ( 3-6, 7-6, 6-0)
Simona Halep, the bookies’ favourite this year, fought her way into the semi-finals, after making a comeback that will probably be etched in her memories for a long time regardless of whether she goes on to win the trophy. She was a set down and trailing 1-5 in the second, when she suddenly found her rhythm, to turn the match around on its heels. After Svitolina played brilliantly from the back of the court, forcing Halep to go for more, and drawing errors out of her, Halep won five games in a row to take the set to a tie-break. After a dramatic tie-break, and saving a match point, Halep seemed to knock the wind out of her opponent. The errors flowed thick and fast from Svitolina’s racket, as she looked mentally exhausted on the court. Halep though never looked back and at the cost of just one unforced error, wrapped up what might seem to be a pivotal match in her quest for her first French open title.
She will face Karolina Pliskova who ended the fairy tale run of Caroline Garcia. Deviating slightly from her aggressive style of play, Pliskova fought hard to secure the first set in a tie-break. Caroline Garcia looked under pressure right from the start of the second set making more unforced errors, and a break of serve was enough to seal the match in Pliskova’s favor. Pliskova could be the next world no.1 if she manages to beat Halep in her next match. Halep also is in contention for the world no.1, but she will have to win the finals in order to do that.
BACSINSZKY vs JELENA OSTAPENKO
BACSINSZKY def MLADENOVIC ( 6-4, 6-4)
OSTAPENKO def WOZNIACKI ( 4-6, 6-2, 6-2)
Bacsinszky made short work of her French opponent Mladenovic, who had knocked out the defending champion Garbine Muguruza in her previous round. Bacsinszky did not seem bothered at all, with the noisy French supporters that Muguruza seemed to have an issue with. It was later, in her post match interview that Bacsinszky revealed how nervous she actually was, given the stage that the match was being played on. She said that she had only a five hour sleep before the match and also had a nightmare about leaving the city. Mladenovic was reduced to tears after her defeat as she must have felt that she let her French supporters down.
She will face Jelena Ostapenko, who defeated another favorite to the title this year, Caroline Wozniacki. In a match that was delayed by rain in the second set, the teenager played as if she had nothing to lose, after the first set, hitting winners that were either on the line or just a whisker’s breadth away from it. It is the first time since Anna Ivanovic made it to the semis in 2007, that a teenager has managed to travel so far into the tournament. Both Bacsinszky and Ostapenko know each other well, having played doubles together before, and will share a birthday before they face off against each other.
All in all it seems to be a power packed semis to watch out for, and there seems to be more than a title on the line, as the battle for world no.1 gets hotter.