Out-of-nowhere Ostapenko to face Halep for French Open title

Groenefeld eying another mixed doubles title in Paris

Her high-risk/high reward game yielded the latter, as she beat Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland in three sets, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3. The last woman to win her first title in a Grand Slam event was Australian Chris O'Neil at the 1978 Australian Open, and the last man to do it was Gustavo Kuerten at Roland Garros in 1997.

The first set seemed to fit the pattern many expected.

Halep marked herself out as a favourite for the title at Roland Garros after winning in Madrid and finishing runner-up in Rome, but a tumble in the Italian Open final left her with ankle ligament damage and cast doubt over whether she would play in Paris.

She hits more winners than anyone.

She consolidated for 4-1 in the next game. You either rise to it and are really excited to win a first grand slam or you get afraid and shy away from it. I'm ready to face her, and I'm ready to face another final. Ostapenko faltered when she tried to serve it out at 6-5, but the Latvian took the tie-break with a swinging backhand volley.

FILE- In this June 5, 2004, file photo, Anastasia Myskina of Russian Federation kisses the cup after defeating compatriot Elena Dementieva 6-1, 6-2 in the final of French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris. Of course she has nothing to lose.

"I said that the match is lost".


"I created myself some opportunities, but on the other side of the net, she was playing quite well and defending very well everything that I was proposing", admitted Bacsinszky. The Czech had 24 unforced errors in the first set, putting her in a hole.

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

Pliskova, the 25-year-old Czech, would have taken the world top spot if she had made her second Slam final.

It looked like the same might happen in the third 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 20 years ago, he said Thursday, he came to Roland Garros hoping "to win one match". In some ways, it might even be better for her immediate development to come up short (for as much attention as Garbine Muguruza has received for being relieved that her title defense is over, the pressure and spotlight of winning a first major so young has been an obstacle for many, including the likes of Pete Sampras).

"I expect her to give everything she has, to hit all the balls, to play with confidence".

Serena Williams, the 23-times major champion, is pregnant, double Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova is just back after being stabbed, five-times major champion Maria Sharapova has only recently returned from a doping ban and former world number one Victoria Azarenka has been out after having a baby.

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