Jelena Ostapenko Powers Into Final, To Meet Simona Halep

Rufina Vignone
Giugno 23, 2017

Simona Halep defeated No 2 Karolina Pliskova to reach the French Open final, where she will face the unseeded Jelena Ostapenko.

Pliskova would have gone top of the rankings if she had reached a second grand slam final, but instead it is the third seed from Romania who will be the world number one if she beats the unseeded Ostapenko on Saturday.

Halep, who recovered from 3-6 1-5 in the quarter-finals against Elina Svitolina, was ecstatic after securing a place in her second French decider, having lost the final in 2104 to Maria Sharapova.

Ostapenko thrashed 38 winners past former world number one Caroline Wozniacki to become the first teenager to reach the semi-finals since Ana Ivanovic in 2007. When she broke back for 3-3, she looked the more likely victor but Ostapenko upped her game again and stormed into the final. I expect her to give everything she has, to hit all the balls, to play with confidence.

Ostapenko may have lost in the first round last year and failed to make it out of qualifying a year earlier in Paris but that was largely down to her inexperience.

Thiem dumped out defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia yesterday while Nadal is aiming to win a record 10th title at the French Open.

Ostapenko's impressive performance in the tournament has largely been the result of her ability to overpower her opponents and hit winners with her strong forehand.

After Halep controlled the first set, Pliskova found her range on her big serve and forehand in the second.

"I am truly happy and can not believe what I have achieved, " she said after her win over Caroline Wozniacki yesterday.

Ostapenko would become the first unseeded player to win here since Mima Jausovec in 1983.

Bacsinszky lamented letting Ostapenko gain steam in the opening set en route to losing in the tournament's semifinals for the second time in three years. "I'm just happy with the way I celebrated my birthday!" said Jelena Ostapenko, who turned 20 on Thursday, after her semi-final win.

"But then I was just trying to be calm and just to try to play my game and just enjoy every moment". The two players then each held serve for the remainder of the first set before Halep was able to close out the first set 6-4.

But Halep played virtually error-free tennis the rest of the way to win 12 of the final 13 games against her increasingly flustered opponent. If it happens this time, it's going to be great.

"That's how it is and I think it's a good fight for world number one".

She is also hoping to win a maiden tour-level title at a Slam - a feat lasted accomplished by Gustavo Kuerten at the French Open in 1997 on the same day Ostapenko was born.

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