Latvian teen to play in first Slam semifinal

10 June, 2017, 09:50 | Author: Felix Jensen

She then forced a decider before rain delayed play for another 20 minutes at 2-1 on serve in the final set.

World No 14 Mladenovic briefly threatened a comeback in the second set, racing into a 3-1 lead, but Bacsinszky held her nerve in the stop-start encounter to win four straight games before serving out for a spot in the semis. "Because to play semi-final of Roland Garros on your birthday, I think it's really nice", added Ostapenko.

And when the match did eventually get underway the windy conditions disrupted Mladenovic's flow in-front of a vocal home crowd.

With Bacsinszky serving at 3-5 Ostapenko, coiled like a spring, brought up two match points with an unstoppable backhand return that cleaned the baseline then smote a rasping forehand return victor that left her opponent flat-footed.

Both women's quarterfinals were interrupted twice because of showers; the first delay lasted more than 3 hours, the second about a half-hour. "I was always playing aggressive and trying to hit the ball when I have the chance". "But maybe lucky me, experience-wise".

The men's quarter-finals featuring nine-time champion Rafael Nadal and holder Novak Djokovic were postponed until Wednesday after two rain delays disrupted Tuesday's play.

There were, though, tears of disappointment over on Court Philippe Chatrier, where Kristina Mladenovic's hopes of becoming a first French champion since Mary Pierce in 2000 evaporated as she was beaten 6-4 6-4 by Timea Bacsinszky, the number 30 seed from Switzerland.

Having clawed her way back to 4-5, the errors returned and Wozniacki took the opening set.

The unseeded teenager turns 20 on Thursday and gave herself a huge early present by coming from behind to defeat the former would number one 4-6 6-2 6-2 on Court Suzanne Lenglen.

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Latvian teenager Jelena Ostapenko credited her passion for ballroom dancing for fuelling her breakthrough performance at the French Open.

There was also a good bit of rain getting in the way of play on Tuesday. I'm really happy to be in the final, especially on my birthday.

Bacsinszky, meanwhile, knows what it's like to be on the semi-final stage, going three sets before losing to Serena Williams in Paris in 2015.

Bacsinszky fended off one with a swinging serve but Riga's finest made no mistake on the second, sending a forehand whistling into the corner to become the first Latvian player to reach a grand slam final.

Djokovic has been struggling for consistency and the 23-year-old Thiem is expected to provide a tough challenge even if the Austrian has won only one set in their five previous encounters.

Perhaps the rain allowed Ostapenko to overcome a loss in the first set to win the last two to advance to the semifinals.

The No. 30 seed will next face either No. 11 Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark or unseeded 19-year-old Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia, who also celebrates her birthday on Thursday. Djokovic is the defending champion.

Eighty kilometre per hour winds gusted throughout the grounds as both players, skidding through clouds of clay, picked grit out of their eyes.

Those two matches join today's scheduled quarterfinals - top-seeded Andy Murray vs. eighth-seeded Kei Nishikori and third-seeded Stan Wawrinka against seventh-seeded Marin Cilic.

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