Roland Garros: Simona Halep reaches final after defeating Karolina Pliskova, will face Jelena Ostapenko

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Romanian tennis player Simona Halep, 4th WTA, will play the final of the Roland Garros tournament after defeating Karolina Pliskova (Czech Republic), 3rd WTA, on Thursday 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.

Halep (25), third seeded of the competition, will play his second final at Roland Garros after losing it in 2014 against Maria Sharapova (4-6, 7-6, 4-6). Halep will play the last match against Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, who defeated Timea Bacsinszky 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3.

Ostapenko won her birthday battle against Timea Bacsinszky to become the first unseeded woman to reach the Roland Garros final for 34 years. Not since Mima Jausovec in 1983 has a player outside the leading ranks made it all the way to the trophy decider. Ostapenko powered her way to a 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 6-3 victory to make history as the first Latvian grand slam finalist and the youngest at any grand slam since Caroline Wozniacki in New York eight years ago.

It was a nightmare start for Pliskova as a double fault gifted Halep two break points in just her second service game.

Halep only needed one as she raced into an early lead and it turned out to be the only break she required to secure a 1-0 lead.

After facing early danger on her own serve, the third seed looked assured when starting off the points, while challenging Pliskova’s.

Although she could not convert a couple of set point chances on the Czech’s serve, Halep looked after her own and looked comfortable on her way to a 6-4 win.

Her first-serve percentage was up at 71% and she won 79% of points behind it.

Even more concerning for Pliskova was that she hit twice as many unforced errors (24) as she did winners (12) in a disappointing opening set.

However, after looking more assured on her own serve in the second, Pliskova broke for a 4-2 lead to gain the upper hand in the next set.

Halep saw three break points come and go in the next game but the Czech held firm as she edged closer to levelling the match up.

After losing the second, it was Halep who struck first in the decider, taking a 3-1 lead.

Pliskova had the opportunity to hit back straight away but the Romanian recovered from 15-40 down with some trademark defensive work.

The second seed did find a way through to get the match back on serve at 3-4 but Halep broke immediately again and went on to set up a clash with 20-year-old Latvian Ostapenko.

Pliskova would have reached the no. 1 spot if winning, Halep will get the top position in she wins the tournament.

The tournament winner will get 2,000 WTA points and EUR 1,060,000.

It’s Halep’s 25th final of the career.

Simona Halep qualified on Wednesday in a spectacular way to the semi-finals of Roland Garros tennis tournament in Paris, after an incredible comeback in the quarter-final player against Elina Svitolina (Ukraine) 3-6, 7-6, 6-0.

The Romanian found herself down a set and 5-1, and even had to save match point, but she pulled off the escape act in spectacular fashion to advance 3-6, 7-6(6), 6-0,

 

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