Paris - Simona
Halep produced an incredible escape act to reach the French Open
semi-finals on Wednesday, while Karolina Pliskova ended the run of the
lone remaining home hope Caroline Garcia.
Romanian third seed Halep saved a match point as she trailed Elina
Svitolina 6-3, 5-1 before launching a sensational comeback to stun the
Ukrainian in three sets.
Fifth seed Svitolina twice served for the match at 5-2 and 5-4 in the
second set and then had match point at 6/5 in the tie-break.
But she failed to put away Halep and the 2014 Roland Garros runner-up
powered through the decider in just 20 minutes to complete a remarkable
3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-0 victory.
"I don’t know how I came back. It was really tough. She was playing
hard and strong. I was a little bit lucky, I can say," said Halep, who
grabbed the second set on a fortuitous net cord winner.
"I think I was strong mentally. I didn’t give up. That’s maybe why I won this match."
Svitolina, 22, had looked well-set to become the first Ukrainian woman to make a Grand Slam semi-final.
She allowed Halep just four winners in the first set and coasted to
within sight of the last four, but the Romanian ran away with 12 of the
last 13 games to avenge her loss in the Rome final.
"I let her back into the game a little bit," admitted Svitolina, who
will rise to a career-high of fifth next week despite the defeat.
"I don't really need to talk about this match as a bad experience.
"I'm sad today but tomorrow is another day and life continues, there's nothing I can do."
Svitolina, who had been two points from defeat in the fourth round
against Petra Martic, finished the quarter-final with 45 unforced
Halep will meet second seed Pliskova for a place in Saturday's final after the second defeated Garcia 7-6 (7/3), 6-4.
Pliskova, 25, will replace Angelique Kerber as the new world number
one if she makes the final, while Halep would rise to the top of the
rankings should she claim the title in Paris.
The Czech edged a marathon 77-minute first set against 28th seed
Garcia in a tie-break, having failed to convert an earlier set point at
The 25-year-old then broke the Frenchwoman as she served to stay in
the match to clinch just her second appearance in the last four at a
"It was very tough. She played very well, we were both serving well.
She played a great tournament, even today, it was 50-50, it came down to
about two points I’m really glad I made it," said Pliskova.
Last year's US Open finalist entered Roland Garros with just two wins in five previous visits.
"I am very happy. Before the tournament I wasn’t sure if I could play good tennis on clay."
French Open results on Wednesday, the 11th day of the 2017
tournament at Roland Garros (x denotes seeding):
Andy Murray (GBR x1) bt Kei Nishikori (JPN x8) 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (7/0), 6-1
Stan Wawrinka (SUI x3) bt Marin Cilic (CRO x7) 6-3, 6-3, 6-1
Rafael Nadal (ESP x4) bt Pablo Carreno Busta (ESP x20) 6-2, 2-0 retired
Dominic Thiem (AUT x6) bt Novak Djokovic (SRB x2) 7-6 (7/5), 6-3, 6-0
Simona Halep (ROM x3) bt Elina Svitolina (UKR x5) 3-6, 7-6 (8/6), 6-0
Karolina Pliskova (CZE x2) bt Caroline Garcia (FRA x28) 7-6 (7/3), 6-4