Karolina Pliskova to face Simona Halep in French Open semi-final
Karolina Pliskova defeated Caroline Garcia to set up French Open semi-final clash with 2014 Roland Garros runner-up Simona Halep, who beat Elina Svitolina.tennis Updated: Jun 07, 2017 20:46 IST
Czech second seed Karolina Pliskova reached the French Open semi-finals for the first time on Wednesday with a 7-6 (7/3), 6-4 win over home hope Caroline Garcia.
Pliskova will play 2014 Roland Garros runner-up Simona Halep, who saved a match point and rallied from 6-3, 5-1 down to beat Elina Svitolina, in the last four.
The Czech edged a marathon 77-minute first set against 28th seed Garcia in a tie-break, having failed to convert an earlier set point at 5-3.
The 25-year-old then broke Garcia as the Frenchwoman served to stay in the match to clinch just her second semi-final appearance at a Grand Slam.
“It was very tough. She played very well, we were both serving well. She played a great tournament, even today, it was 50-50, it came down to about two points I’m really glad I made it,” said Pliskova.
She entered this year’s Roland Garros with just two wins in five previous visits. “I am very happy. Before the tournament I wasn’t sure if I could play good tennis on clay.”
Pliskova, 25, will replace Angelique Kerber as the new world number one if she makes the final in Paris.
Simona Halep saved a match point and fought back from a set and 5-1 down to defeat Elina Svitolina 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-0 on Wednesday to reach her second French Open semi-final.
The third-seeded Romanian, who was runner-up to Maria Sharapova in Paris in 2014, will face Karolina Pliskova, the Czech second seed, for a place in Saturday’s final.
Both women also have a chance of taking the world number one spot.
“I don’t know how I came back,” admitted 25-year-old Halep, who ran away with 12 of the last 13 games to avenge her loss to Svitolina in the Rome final.
Fifth seed Svitolina had looked well-set to become the first Ukrainian woman to make a Grand Slam semi-final.
She allowed Halep just four winners in the first set and coasted into a 5-1 lead in the second.
Twice she served for victory at 5-2 and 5-4 before going on to waste a match point at 6/5 in the tie-breaker.
Halep needed no second invitation, sprinting through the final set in just 20 minutes before taking victory with an ace.
Svitolina, who had been two points from defeat in the fourth round against Petra Martic, finished the quarter-final with 45 unforced errors.
“She was playing tough, hard and strong,” said Halep.
“Maybe I was a little lucky but I didn’t give up.”