Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia faces off against Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in a French Open quarter-final in Paris
Jelena Ostapenko of Latvia faces off against Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in a French Open quarter-final in Paris

Who will be celebrating after French Open semi-final?

IN a stunning coincidence, Latvian wonder Jelena Ostapenko and Swiss star Timea Bacsinszky will play off for a place in the French Open singles final on Thursday - the same day the pair celebrates their birthdays.

Bacsinszky will turn 28, while the outrageously talented Ostapenko will turn 20 on a red-letter day for women's tennis.

Bacsinszky overcame raucous support for Kiki Mladenovic to advance to her second Roland Garros semi-final 6-4 6-4 before unseeded Ostapenko rattled Caroline Wozniacki with a 4-6 6-2 6-2 success.

Ostapenko clubbed 38 winners to Wozniacki's six to reach her maiden grand slam semi-final, while Bacsinszky was far too accomplished for haughty Mladenovic on a dismal weather day.

There were two lengthy weather interruptions as two men's quarter-final matches were rescheduled for tonight.

Ostapenko, who upstaged injured Sam Stosur in the previous round, is contesting only her eighth grand slam.

At 19, the fearless baseliner is a star of the future - and might yet lift the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.

"I'm really happy I still can't believe it," the world No 47 said.

"I'm really happy to play here, it's an amazing tournament. I love you guys, thanks.

"It was tough because we had to go away two times from the court.

"Caroline is a tough opponent. She was playing great. I had to stay aggressive. I was missing sometimes but in the end it worked out. It will be really great to play here when it will be my birthday. I hope I can enjoy it."

 

Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland applauds after defeating France's Kristina Mladenovic during their quarterfinal match
Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland applauds after defeating France's Kristina Mladenovic during their quarterfinal match Michel Euler

Bacsinszky had to deal with her own game, flying dust, Mladenovic and a volatile gallery on Court Philippe Chatrier.

"It was really difficult because we had all the seasons rolled into one today," she said.

"We had a sand storm, a hurricane and we almost had snow too.

"It was really tough to keep my concentration all day long. I feel exhausted and I'm sure you do too (to the crowd).

"I'm really sorry to have knocked out the penultimate French representation. I'm really happy and proud.

"For many years, big things have happened for me at Roland-Garros. I'm really happy to be through to my second semi-final here. I feel really privileged."

For the first time since the 1979 Australian Open, won by American Barbara Jordan, every player to reach the last eight here has never won a grand slam title previously.

The last time that happened here was in 1977, when Mima Jausovec claimed the title.

Caroline Garcia, Karolina Pliskova, Elina Svitolina and Simona Halep will contest the bottom half quarter-finals tonight.

News Corp Australia


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