Tuesday’s Set Points, French Open 2017 Day 10: Bacsinszky vs. Ostapenko for a place in the final!

Set PointsTuesday was another wet day in Paris with the first pair of women’s quarter-finals severely interrupted by the weather. Eventually the rain abated for the matches to finish and we now know the first two semi-finalists… Timea Bacsinszky and Jelena Ostapenko! While I wouldn’t have been surprised at any of the four quarter-finalists winning today, it hasn’t quite sunk in that Bacsinszky and Ostapenko will be playing on Thursday for a place in the final of Roland Garros.

Bacsinszky beat a rather subdued, Kristina Mladenovic, 6-4 6-4. I watched the first few games of the match during my lunch break and the conditions were terrible. We had dreadful weather in the UK as well today. The wind was ridiculous and it brought back memories of Eastbourne. Bacsinszky seemed to be dealing with the conditions better early on. In the end, a trio of two game stints saw Bacsinszky grab the opener, breaking Mladenovic’s serve at 4-4 in a six deuce game.

The rain first came with Bacsinszky holding a break point on Mladenovic’s serve at 6-4 1-1 40-30*. On the resumption, Mladenovic looked fired up and had the crowd support – she held, then broke and had the ascendancy in her next service game. The Frenchwoman couldn’t keep it up though as a resurgent Bacsinszky found her game again and won 11 of the next 13 points before the next rain interruption. Mladenovic appeared to be sobbing before they went off court.

On the next resumption, Bacsinszky found herself serving for the match at *5-4 – she saved a break point and converted on her first match point to reach a second Slam semi-final in Paris in the last three years. Huge props to Timea who didn’t back off at the end and went for her shots. I was surprised how passive Mladenovic was from the middle of the second set.

It’s not been an easy year for Bacsinszky who has battled injuries – an abdominal injury forced her out of Shenzhen and Sydney at the very start of the year. She then had a left thigh issue at Fed Cup, which forced her to retire against Yulia Putintseva in Doha. Then just as she was building momentum in Miami, Bacsinszky retired during her fourth round match against Karolina Pliskova with a worrying wrist injury. Her clay court season had been solid and there were some encouraging signs in Rome that she was rounding into form.

I’m absolutely thrilled for Timea. She’s been my second favourite player behind Lucie for a while now (after Eastbourneย ๐Ÿ˜‰). I love her fighting spirit on the court and her backhand gives me life!ย ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

In the second semi-final, Ostapenko delivered another sensational display to defeat Caroline Wozniacki, 4-6 6-2 6-2. It feels a long time ago now but Wozniacki was up 5-0 in the first set! The conditions were tough early on but as the wind died down, Ostapenko’s crunching groundstrokes had more and more of an impact.

I was surprised how quickly the third set went once Ostapenko got the break at 2-2. Wozniacki had no answers and looked a tad overwhelmed as Ostapenko piled on the winners. Serving for the match and a first ever Slam semi-final, Ostapenko produced an emphatic service hold to love. My face during that final gameย ๐Ÿ˜ฎ. We’ve seen Ostapenko get tight before but she was on a mission today.

Ostapenko now holds a 4-0 head-to-head record against Wozniacki and has hit a whopping 148 winners in their three matches this year. She hit 38 against Wozniacki today (to 50 unforced errors) which was her lowest total of their three matches in 2017.

This is an awesome fun fact that both players share a birthday… Ostapenko will be 20 and Bacsinszky will be 28 on Thursday.

Bacsinszky and Ostapenko have never met before on the WTA tour but now they’ll go up against each other for a place in a first Slam final. I’m very excited about this match-up!

 

The second pair of quarter-finals are on Wednesday’s schedule – a pair of snap previews are up on the blog for Halep vs. Svitolina and Pliskova vs. Garcia.

The doubles quarter-finals will also be played on Wednesday and it’s a decent line-up.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Lucie Safarova (1) vs. Francesca Schiavone and Kirsten Flipkens

Chan Yung-Jan and Martina Hingis (3) vs. Raluca Olaru and Olga Savchuk

Irina-Camelia Begu and Zheng Saisai vs. Ashleigh Barty and Casey Dellacqua

Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina (6) vs. Lucie Hradecka and Katerina Siniakova (2)

And finally, Eurosport have released a survey for their French Open coverage. More details on the survey are provided in the post below. By entering a valid e-mail address at the end of the survey, there are prizes up for grabs! Enter at the link HERE.

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23 thoughts on “Tuesday’s Set Points, French Open 2017 Day 10: Bacsinszky vs. Ostapenko for a place in the final!

  1. I’m so much looking forward to this semifinal. I would give the edge to Timea (because of experience) but who knows. I saw the third set of Wozniacki vs Ostapenko today and, indeed, Woz had no answers. Ostapenko was on a real mission and almost unplayable – very impressive. I just wonder whether she has a plan B? Haven’t watched her enough to judge on this.

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    • No real plan B. At least, not yet, she still has youth on her side. Even in the first set, Caroline’s play was not exactly inspiring. Ostapenko’s play was reminiscent of Keys, lots of power, little calibration. Granted the wind wasn’t helping her find her rhythm, the error count was a bit much. I figured the rain delay breaks this time was going to hurt Caroline cause Ostapenko just needed to get her aim right and it was going to be bombs away.

      I would also give the edge to Timea, however, she’s gone flat before after a win like this. The positive being Ostapenko is another ‘typical’ baseline hitter whom she tends to cope with well. If Ostapenko doesn’t fall apart due to the occasion it could be a good semi. Perhaps, youthful exuberance( naivety) could see her through.

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      • I’d hope for a good semi-final but I have got the Charleston final in the back of my mind where Ostapenko rather tamely lost in straights to Kasatkina. I’m encouraged by her improvement this year and when she’s on, my goodness she is really exciting to watch.

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      • Agreed James, I feel in Charleston though she was playing Kasatkina instead of her game. A bit too angsty in her attitude. Hopefully she’s learnt from the experience. She seemed hurt by the loss.

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      • Yep agreed, if I remember correctly she was bothered by Kasatkina’s lack of pace. I think having Medina Garrigues in her camp during this clay court season has clearly had a positive impact on her game. All learning experiences and many signs she is using it all to her advantage.

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    • I found it really difficult to make picks for the the top half QFs. I thought Ostapenko was stunning in her last three matches but I’d still give the edge for Bacsinszky in the SFs. More experience and also wonder if that could be a good match-up for Bacsinszky as she can really mix up the play which would be ideal for disrupting Ostapenko’s rhythm.

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  2. Ostapenko is a ‘character’ the WTA desperately need! Love her attitude and the star quality she possesses. Will be rooting for her even though it would be a big shock if she won the semi-final.

    Also 7th straight slam a non-seeded player has made the SFs – this is becoming a concerning new trend in Women’s Tennis.

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  3. The very emotional Ostapenko totally surprised me—heavy gusting wind, brick grit in her eyes, and down 0-5 to Woz in the first set and she didn’t go berserk. A year or two ago she probably would have gone nutso-freako.

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    • Yup she’s definitely improving mentally. Her win today was quite similar to the one vs. Stosur where she took some time to settle but once she did, she was in the zone.

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  4. Bacsinszky’s win today was a win for lots of fans not being french.
    I didn’t see this match.

    But Ostapenko – Wozniacki…whoa this young girl can hit both forehand and backhand! Both sides are beautiful to watch unlike others players who has a much weaker side.

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  5. It will be a great match up but I’ll be rooting for Timea to pull through!
    However this Svitolina vs Halep match has got to be one of the most topsy turve matches of the year as well as high quality rallies. Surely will go down as one of the most dramatic matches of year especially how the second set went down!

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      • I saw this match and I saw Novak’s as well. I’m just left in a pensive state, debating, the ups and downs of life. It was really a tale of two halves. Went in neutral, so I was amazed by Elina’s play and the suddenly was amazed by Halep’s great escape!
        I think both girls will remember this for a long while, especially Svitolina. Do watch it if you can.

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  6. Haha yeh! I was watching most of the match and to think Svitolina was up 5-0 and 5-1 in the first two sets is unbelievable! Then Halep winning 12 of the last 13 games.
    Big stakes game against Pliskova in the semis. Number 1 ranking is at stake aswell.

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    • Absolutely devastated for Svitolina. The hour showed that she is clearly capable of being the best player in the world because she was absolutely crushing Simona Halep on all counts. Then she just stopped taking risks, stopped stepping in, waited for the ball to bounce instead of whipping it out of the air and all of a sudden the routine shots she was making look easy started to creep further out of the lines…

      I do think if she uses the match as a tool to learn and grow then she could do really well at Wimbledon. Her first serve seems to be really rapidly improving, she’s getting good at coming into the net at the right times and her groundstrokes have some bite to them.

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      • I agree with you that Svitolina can improve from this match but I think the whole tour will change once Azarenka is back and returns to form. When she the won Indian wells/Miami last year everyone should watch out.
        I think the tour will definitely change once Petra and Maria are close to their best form. I just hope for some consistency

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      • I dunno, I think it’s a little late for Maria or Vika to really dominate. Both have too many injuries to really get into a winning rhythm.
        And Petra will always be Petra. The way she plays makes it impossible for her to really get any true consistency.

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  7. Vika is still young when you look at it. She’s 28 in July and she will still have plenty of time to win grand slams. She is the only competitor who is able to challenge Serena consistently.
    It may not be this year but I definitely see her winning one next year.

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    • But she’s consistently had injuries since her early 20’s. And worryingly for her it seems to be ligament and joint problems she mainly suffers with, which are the most difficult to properly rehabilitate and in most cases are never really the same after.

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  8. Serena already mentioned during her talk at TED – she is not done yet. She will be back after giving birth of her baby.

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