Published: Fri, June 09, 2017
Sport | By Charlene Craig

Jelena Ostapenko celebrates birthday with 2017 French Open final berth


Halep rejected a mid-match comeback attempt from Pliskova to emerge the 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 victor, a feat replicated by Ostapenko as she ousted Bacsinszky with a 7-6 (5), 3-6, 6-3 scoreline.

A year after losing in the first round at Roland Garros, the 17th-seeded Schiavone became the first woman from Italy to reach a Grand Slam final - and then won the title, too, shortly before turning 30.

"I'm really happy", Ostapenko said.

Bacsinszky, in her second slam semi-final, turned 28 while Thursday brought an end to Ostapenko's teenage years. It's really nice the way I played today here, especially I won.

- Ostapenko also praised her coach Anabel Medina Garrigues, a former world number 16, who teamed up with the Latvian earlier this season.

"Bad luck. OK. It's a tough one", Bacsinszky said when she was informed of that margin, her eyes filling with tears.

The Latvian has been the surprise package of a wide open tournament having never previously been beyond the third round at a slam.

Ostapenko will now try to win the first senior title of her career, and history might just be on her side.

"It is an awesome feeling, I'm so happy".

"But you know what?"

"I hope I can play better and win it".

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She hits more winners than anyone.

Serena Williams is pregnant, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova is just back after being stabbed, Maria Sharapova has only recently returned from a doping ban and former world number one Victoria Azarenka gave birth to her first child late past year.

The Romanian came into the tournament as the favourite despite concerns over an ankle injury and knows a great opportunity awaits her.

Ostapenko outlasted 30th-seeded Swiss Timea Bacsinszky 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3 to become the first unseeded player to reach the French Open final in 34 years. "And then I started to feel more relaxed, maybe because I thought it's finished".

"I'm of course happy, but I'm not that excited".

Pierce also tipped several other young players to rise up the ranks this season.

"But I can feel that I'm in the same position". "But I was working on the forehand, and I think it's pretty good now". "I'm happy with my performance".

Halep continues to be aggressive with her return and her defense is the reason she's made it this far, as she forces her opponent to hit constant winners if they're going to win the game. "It's a big challenge, a big chance". I think it kind of gave me confidence.

Dabrowski, who is from Canada, and her Indian partner rallied to beat Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Robert Farah of Colombia 2-6, 6-2, 12-10. This semi-final, I only tried to take the positive things.

Pliskova was very pleased with her fortnight on her least favourite surface and is in no doubt who she is backing on Saturday.

Ostapenko trained as a ballroom dancer for seven years but seems more suited to thrashing the fluff off of tennis balls.

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