No. 3 seed Simona Halep stopped Karolina Pliskova from becoming No. 1. Now she has to stop a teenager from winning her first title, a win which would lift Halep to the No. 1 spot for the first time.
Halep beat the No. 2-seeded Pliskova 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 on Thursday in the semifinals to return to the French Open final.
“I feel like I have more experience,” Halep said afterwards. “I’m happy, but I’m not that excited. I’m looking forward, actually, to play the final. Today was a great battle. Every point was very important. I felt that I had to run for every ball, be focused for every ball.”
Halep entered Roland Garros with an ankle issue, but has only lost one set en route to the final. The flat-hitting Pliskova, who had a 2-5 win-loss record at Roland Garros entering the tournament, was happy with her performance.
“I think I would have beaten 99 percent of the girls with the tennis I was playing today, so it was just unlucky that it was Simona today,” Pliskova said. “I think she’s one of the best on clay, maybe one of the best at this tournament. She loves this tournament.”
Halep in the final will face unseeded Jelena Ostapenko, who outlasted Timea Bacsinszky 7-6(4), 3-6, 6-3.
It is the first Slam final for Ostapenko, who turned 20 today and has never won a WTA title. She was also 0-2 career at the French Open entering the event.
“I was just trying to stay aggressive and to go for a shot when I could,” Ostapenko said. “I think it was kind of important that I won the first set, even the second I lost, but in the third set I found my game again.”
The final will be a first-time meeting between the two.
“I never played against her,” Halep said. “I don’t know what to expect from her. I saw a little bit of her match today. In my opinion is similar to what I had today, so maybe’s gonna be the same plan.”
You Might Like:
Ostapenko Stuns Halep for 1st WTA Title at French Open
Unseeded Sharapova Joins Halep, Ostapenko in Shenzhen Title Chase; Preview
French Open Women’s Semis Set: Pliskova vs. Halep to Determine No. 1
WTA Finals Groups: Halep With No Slam Winners In Red; Venus, Muguruza In White
Venus Gets Revenge On Muguruza, Reaches SFs At WTA Finals; Halep-Svitolina Friday