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Ostapenko upsets Bacsinszky to reach Roland Garros final
Jelena Ostapenko celebrated her 20th birthday on Friday with a three set win over Timea Bacsinszky to move into the final of the French Open. It was a tense nervy match on centre court against the 30th seeded Swiss who turned 28 on the day of the semi-final.
However it will be the Latvian with the bigger smiles as she prepares to contest her first Grand Slam final after her 7-6 3-6 6-3 victory. “I'm really happy to be in the final, especially on my birthday. I think it's a nice gift.”
Ostapenko failed to win her first match at Roland Garros last year. But in this campaign she has put established names such as Samantha Stosur and Caroline Wozniacki to the sword before subduing the sly spins and slices of Bacsinszky.
“She's 20. Not afraid of anything,” said Bacsinszky. “She doesn't measure maybe what
she's doing right now. She probably doesn't care. She's just hitting. The best example is the match point. I served very well wide but she hits as hard as she can down the line from nowhere. It comes low over the net and in the corner, and, I mean, who tries that? Seriously? I mean, it's like one person out of 10. But she does it. So we'll see if she does it at 28 years old."
Third seed Simona Halep will be Ostapenko's next opponent after she saw off the second seed Karolina Pliskova in three sets to reach her second Roland Garros final.
"It's a great feeling to be back in the final here," said the 25-year-old Romanian who lost to Maria Sharapova in the 2014 final. "I feel like I have more experience. I'm of course happy, but I'm not that excited. I'm looking forward to playing it."