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Tennis

Bacsinszky sets up Roland Garros semi-final with Ostapenko

Timea Bacsinszky beat the French player Kristina Mladenovic to reach the semi-final at Roland Garros.
Timea Bacsinszky beat the French player Kristina Mladenovic to reach the semi-final at Roland Garros. RFI/Pierre-René Worms

Timea Bacsinszky from Switzerland advanced to the semi-final at Roland Garros for the second time in three years with a 6-4 6-4 win over 13th seed Kristina Mladenovic in a match that lasted more than six hours due to interruptions for rain.

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It was a result few expected on centre court after the Frenchwoman dispatched the defending champion Garbine Muguruza on Sunday to reach the last eight.

But Bacsinszky, who will turn 28, on the day of her semi-final, was too wily for the big hitting Mladenovic. “With the wind, this is something you cannot really order to practice with. I don't like to play with the wind. I'm not sure if any other player likes it. But I just said to myself that I had no choice and no influence on that. I just better be friends with the wind today and with the rain delays as well.”

The 30th seed had just wrapped up the first set and it was 1-1 in the second when they were forced off for three hours due to the rain.

They came back and played for another 20 minutes during which time Mladenovic managed to save a break point in the first point after the resumption and hold her serve for a 2-1 advantage. She then broke Bacsinszky to lead 3-1 but then lost her serve. From 4-3 up, Bacsinszky held on to take the match.

"I just tried to take everything as it was coming and not get angry about anything. I just
focused on what I could do. I asked myself: how can I match the weather with my game plan?”

An altogether different project will be needed to fend off Jelena Ostapenko. The Latvian 19-year-old recovered from a dreadful start – losing the first five games of the match – to demolish 11th seed Caroline Wozniacki 4-6 6-2 6-2 and reach her first Grand Slam semi-final. She hit 38 winners past the Dane.

Ostapenko, who will be 20 on the day of her semi-final, admitted she did not think she would be in Paris on her birthday. “I think this one is one of the best birthday presents,” she said. “Because to play semi-final of Roland Garros on your birthday, I think it's really nice.”

 

 

 

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