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Big comeback puts Halep in French Open semi against Pliskova

08 Juin 2017

She chased down ball after ball, played some incredible baseline defense, and coaxed the increasingly frustrated Svitolina into a flurry of unforced errors late in the match.

Pliskova fought hard herself to reach the final, beating home favourite Caroline Garcia in two close sets to win 7-6 (7-3) 6-4.

The third seed was briefly dumped by coach Darren Cahill in March because of her poor attitude and the Australian will certainly know he made the right decision in coming back after this superb display of fighting spirit.

"She played well. Then I played better". I think I played exactly what I had to.

But Halep played virtually error-free tennis the rest of the way to win 12 of the final 13 games against her increasingly flustered opponent.

"I don't really need to talk about this match as a bad experience".

Heather Watson won 7-6, 6-1 in the first round of the Wimbledon warm-up against Russia's Alla Kudryavtseva, while Stockport's Naomi Broady beat fellow Brit Tara Moore 6-2, 6-3.

Both have their birthdays on Thursday - Ostapenko her 20th and Bacsinszky her 28th - but only one of them will be celebrating with a maiden grand slam final.

"I showed that I'm stronger mentally", said Halep.

Current World No 1 Kerber has 7035 points after bowing out in the first round of French Open with Pliskova on Number 3 and Halep Number 4.

Halep dropped her first set of the tournament in her last match, but won a second set tiebreak and the final set, 6-0.

Halep becomes World No 1 if she beats Pliskova and wins title.

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Perhaps the only player who could match Bacsinszky in terms of storyline would be Wozniacki.

The match had looked set to be the first real test of Halep's title credentials but she was so utterly in control it only lasted an hour.

Thursday's other women's semifinal sees 2015 French Open semifinalist Timea Bacsinszky play Wimbledon junior victor Jelena Ostapenko.

Don't let the seedings fool you: Halep will be a strong favorite going into this match, not the least because few players are as risky in a Grand Slam draw as those who had faced match point in a previous round and lived to tell.

Martic, ranked 290th, served for the match at 5-3 on Court Suzanne Lenglen but was broken by Svitolina.

"I just tried to make her move more, to open [up] the court, and it came". I didn't give up.

Thursdays semifinals are (2) Pliskova vs. (3) Halep, and (30) Timea Bacsinszky vs. teen Jelena Ostapenko.

- Nine-time champion Rafael Nadal has booked a spot in the semi-finals after Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta retired during the second set due to a left abdominal muscle injury.

"I came in playing garbage".

"Definitely there were a lot of free points from the serve, a few aces as well, and I think that was the key".

French dreams of an all-Gallic final at the French Open lay in soggy tatters by Wednesday afternoon in Paris, as Kristina Mladenovic and Caroline Garcia were both beaten in the quarterfinals on successive days.