The semi-final line-up for the 2017 French Open is all set for Thursday. The match of the day on Wednesday was a thriller on Suzanne Lenglen court between Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina. It was one of those rubbish days where I was live scoring and frequently gasping at the momentum changes that were updating in front of my eyes in the form of numbers… I was longing to watch!
Halep recovered from 3-6 1-5 down and saved a match point in the second set tiebreak to eventually prevail, 3-6 7-6(6) 6-0 in two hours and six minutes. For the second day in a row, a player went down 0-5 in the first set and came out on top as the winner!
I’ve seen some highlights but I cannot comment on the match and in particular, how things switched around in the second set. One thing that struck me – many Slam winners often have “the match” where they are on the ropes, close to defeat and even match point down. This was the match for Halep and it has to go down as one of, if not, her best ever win at a Slam. And what a classy match point save as she went closeee to the lines!
I’m gutted for Svitolina – it sounds like she played superb tennis for a set and a half. I was surprised as I thought Halep would win this match quite comfortably but that was clearly a misjudgement. I really liked Svitolina’s outlook after her loss (full press conference linked HERE). There was a shakiness to her voice, but she did smile and I thought she came across as very mature in highlighting the positives that can be taken away from this match. I really hope she can use this experience as a learning curve because I feel like things are starting to click for her.
Simona didn’t even know she faced match point!
In the second semi-final, Karolina Pliskova advanced to her first ever Roland Garros semi-final with a hard fought, 7-6(3) 6-4 victory over Caroline Garcia. From the live scores, it came across as another classic Pliskova match where she won the key points. Credit to Garcia though for a really great tournament and I hope that she will feel more confident about playing on the top show courts in Paris in the future.
Considering how negative she has been about clay and her record at Roland Garros, this is a superb effort from Pliskova to reach the semi-finals and score big ranking points.
The Roland Garros YouTube account has been a big disappointment this year and they’ve barely posted any press conferences, particularly for the WTA. Thanks to those who have shared videos on Twitter. Here are some snippets from Timea’s quarter-final press conference. Her reaction in the first video to how many people showed up for her press conference 😂😂😂.
If you fancy the whole 28 minutes with Timea then you catch it HERE along with many other press conferences… thanks to Irina on YouTube for posting them :-).
Bacsinszky vs. Ostapenko will be first up on Thursday at not before 3pm local time. I think the match-up could cause Ostapenko some issues as Bacsinszky has plenty of variety and can vary the pace effectively. The key for Bacsinszky is to disrupt Ostapenko’s rhythm because when she’s been on this week, she has been unstoppable! It’s also a new situation for Ostapenko and a first match on Philippe Chatrier. I think there’s a lot going on there so i’m going for Timea.
The second semi-final will be contested between Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova – Halep has won four of their last five matches but they haven’t played yet this year and never on clay. It’s generally been a good match-up for Simona and I would guess even more so on clay as she will look to exploit Pliskova’s movement and also absorb and redirect her pace. I’ve already said earlier about Halep having her moment and i’m sticking with her as my third champion pick of the tournament!
Halep vs. Pliskova has big implications for world number one after Roland Garros. I’m kind of hoping one of them will do it as I think it’s the best thing for Kerber right now.
Another reminder for those that you use Eurosport to watch the French Open that they are running a survey for their coverage. If you have opinions then this is your opportunity to share them! Prizes are up for grab for those who enter (with a valid e-mail address) – the survey can be carried out HERE.
Good news for Sorana.
And finally, some Petra entry news! Still waiting on confirmation for where she will play during the grass court season.