Simona Halep defeats Karolina Pliskova in French Open semifinals

French Open SF preview Halep & Pliskova targeting more than Grand Slam success

French Open SF preview Halep & Pliskova targeting more than Grand Slam success

Simona Halep has beaten No. 2 Karolina Pliskova to reach the French Open final, where she will face the unseeded Jelena Ostapenko.

Women's No. 3 seed Simona Halep of Romania made a comeback into the final at Roland Garros after three years with a three-set victory over the second-seeded Karolina Pliskova, while Latvian promising star Jelena Ostapenko got a flawless birthday gift as she overcame Timea Bacsinszky in the semifinals here on Thursday.

Halep beat second seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 to reach the French Open final for the second time.

Returning to the court as a 20-year-old, she has broken new ground today as the first unseeded player to reach the French Open final since Slovenia's Mimi Jausovec in 1983.

Jelena Ostapenko presented herself with the ideal 20th birthday gift by reaching a first French Open final after blasting past Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky on Thursday.

Like Ostapenko, Halep is one win away from her first Grand Slam title.

She will not be changing her style though for the final when she will take on former runner-up Simona Halep.

For 30th-seeded Bacsinszky it was a second semi-final defeat in three years in Paris.

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Ostapenko then broke early in the second set but Bacsinszky won the last four games and leveled the match when her opponent double faulted. She will meet Ostapenko for the first time in the final on Saturday. But after each player held serve for the next two games, Pliskova was able to come back in the match with a break of her own to cut Halep's lead to 4-3.

Right from the off Ostapenko showed her confident best, crunching victor after winner, interspersed with unforced errors.

Halep could have won the first set easier if she had converted break points in the fifth and ninth game. "I think it s a nice gift", said Ostapenko, whose win was greeted by the crowd singing happy birthday.

Ostapenko presented herself with the ideal 20th birthday gift by reaching a first French Open final after blasting past 30th seed Bacsinszky, a semi-finalist also in 2015.

"If I could be only disappointed on one aspect of the match it's some opportunities I had in the first set", Bacsinszky said.

Firing stunning winners on both sides, Ostapenko was always the aggressor and after three breaks apiece in the opening set she took the tiebreak 7-4. She has proven time and time again that she is very much an "in the moment" tennis player.

"And now it's close, but it's close and it's far because I'm playing against somebody who I would say one of the best girls on clay. I think she has a big chance now to win the final, she's going to deserve it".

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