Simona Halep, Jelena Ostapenko to clash for French Open title

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

"I'm just happy with the way I celebrated my birthday!" said Ostapenko as the crowd sang 'happy birthday'. "I believe she has the game to beat top players, which she has done this year, but there's still some areas of her game to improve in order to win a Grand Slam", she added.

Ostapenko had never been past the third round at a major until this week but she didn't let the occasion faze her as she took the first set on a tiebreaker.

The last unseeded player to reach the final at Roland Garros was Mima Jausovec, who lost to seven-time French Open champion Chris Evert in 1983.

Ostapenko will face Simona Halep in the final on Saturday after continuing her incredible run at Roland Garros. "And now it's close, but it's close and it's far, as well, because I'm playing against somebody who I would (call) one of the best girls on clay".

Ostapenko is the first lady tennis player from Latvia to advance to the semis of a Grand Slam tennis tournament.

The Romanian was under pressure early in the decider but finally chased down a forehand and fired a brilliant cross-court victor to grab a 3-1 lead.

Pliskova was gasping for air after the longer points, but saved three break-back points in the next game and another forehand victor ensured both semi-finals would go the distance. She will face Latvian Jelena Ostapenko in the final.

The diminutive baseliner has been in slashing form over the past two weeks, sweeping Caroline Wozniacki and Sam Stosur after toppling Olympic champion Monica Puig in the second round.

The powerful Pliskova saved three set points to prolong the first set, but Halep mixed up her game superbly and was a set up when her opponent blasted a forehand wide.

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The 25-year-old broke serve in game three as her speed and accuracy proved too much for the wayward Pliskova.

- Pliskova struggled to maintain her power hitting in the third set, taking her tally of unforced errors to 55 for the match.

It was an impressive recovery in stifling 28 degree heat, but wasn't enough to encourage the large number of fans who had abandoned their seats on Philippe Chatrier court to return.

The Czech said: "Ostapenko is having a good run here, and she's a risky player for everybody, but I would bet everything what I have on Simona".

Few people expected Karolina Pliskova to reach the French Open semi-finals and even the Czech, who admits to having limited claycourt skills, did not back herself for such an achievement.

"Hopefully you've enjoyed that final, there were lots of efforts on both sides", Dabrowski said in an on-court interview. She really wants this badly and is going to go to any length to win.

One who hits the ball as if she's angry at it. Myskina's opponent - another Russian, Elena Dementieva - made it the first French Open final since 1981 with two participants making their debuts in a Grand Slam title match.

- Bacsinszky took a medical timeout to receive treatment on her right leg while trailing 4-3.

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