Unseeded Jelena Ostapenko got the best birthday gift she could imagine, saying goodbye to her teenage years by recording the biggest victory of her career at Roland Garros and becoming the first Latvian to make a Grand Slam final. Between the fresh 20-year-old and Coupe Suzanne Lenglen is the 2014 runner-up Simona Halep, who will fight for both the No.1 WTA ranking and her maiden major title in the championship match.
In the first Thursday’s semifinal, the world No.47 Ostapenko upset fellow birthday girl Timea Bacsinszky, edging out a first-set tiebreak, then dropping four consecutive games to hand the second set to the Swiss before edging ahead with the 15th break of the match and holding for 5-3. The 7-6(4) 3-6 6-3 encounter ended with a nice and classy hug at the net, of which we have photo proof to be published later. By the way, imagine Ostapenko’s first career title to be a Slam! Wow!
Before the second semifinal started, the 2008 French Open champion Ana Ivanovic took the court for her official retirement ceremony (remember, the Serb abruptly retired in December last year) and then she talked to the media in a press conference. We have everything covered in photos, so stay tuned, as I’ll post the gallery later tonight.
Afterwards, the third-seeded Halep took the Philippe Chatrier Court and eliminated second seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4 3-6 6-3, facing a Top 5 player for the first time this season. Showing excellent speed and accuracy, Halep won the first set, while her opponent edged a 4-2 lead in the second set and consequently forced a decider, in which the Romanian almost raced to a 5-1 lead before fighting off Pliskova’s mini comeback.
Note that this will be an all-Adidas French Open final, as both Ostapenko and Halep are sporting the Adidas Roland Garros Tank and Adidas Roland Garros Skirt.