Simona Halep will look to take momentum from her stunning comeback in the French Open last eight as she faces Karolina Pliskova in the semis on Thursday.
Romanian Halep, third seed at Roland Garros, was 5-1 down in the second set against Elina Svitolina before fighting back to win 3-6 7-6 6-0, setting up a last-four clash against the No 2 seed Pliskova.
Pliskova’s victory was slightly more straightforward, ending the hopes of the last French player in the tournament with a 7-6 6-4 win over Carolina Garcia.
Halep has beaten Pliskova four times in six outings, most recently in the last 16 of last year’s Canadian Masters.
However, Pliskova has come out on top whenever they’ve gone to three sets, and the pair have never met on clay.
“So far still before this tournament I was struggling on clay with almost everything. Didn’t have my weapons on my side and the movement was terrible,” Pliskova said after winning on Wednesday. “I don’t think it’s better, but somehow I’m just winning.”
After her stunning turnaround, Halep said: “It will be very different against Pliskova, a very different match than today, it’s going to come like the ball machine. Tomorrow I have to be strong on my legs. It’s just belief. I cannot say much about the tactics because it’s tough against her.”
The other semi-final was decided amid the wind and rain of Tuesday at Roland Garros, with Jelana Ostapenko reaching the last four where she will face Swiss 30th seed Timea Bacsinszky, who ended Kristina Mladenovic’s hopes.
The pair, who have never met on court before, will be playing their Grand Slam semi-finals on their birthdays.
After beating Caroline Wozniacki 4-6 6-2 6-2, Ostapenko said of Bacsinszky: “Her game is very different. She can mix it up a lot. She can play aggressive. Also, she can change the rhythm and everything. And I think I have to just stay aggressive and to just play my game.”
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