PARIS, June 9: Women�s No. 3 seed Simona Halep of Romania made a comeback into the final at Roland Garros after three years with a three-set victory over the second-seeded Karolina Pliskova, while Latvian promising star Jelena Ostapenko got a perfect birthday gift as she overcame Timea Bacsinszky in the women�s singles semifinals here.
After top seed Angelique Kerber�s early exit, Halep and Pliskova were involved in a tense battle for the top position in WTA world rankings. A title would be sufficient for Halep to achieve that, with a final appearance for Pliskova, reports Xinhua news agency.
After finishing an epic comeback in the quarterfinal clash with Elina Svitolina, the Romanian maintained her momentum on the clay court and showed her advantage in power against a much taller opponent to take away the opening set 6-4 after a poor forehand from the No. 2 seed went outside on Thursday.
�At the beginning, I was serving pretty bad there, and I suffered two double faults in that game. This is one match that could be totally different from the beginning,� commented Pliskova. Pliskova, also in quest for the world No. 1 place, bounced back in a 6-3 win in the second set. However, it was Halep who got the upper hand as she won the decider 6-3.
Halep finished a total of 14 winners against her 14 unforced errors, while Pliskova�s 55 unforced errors cancelled out her 45 winners.
The other semifinal featured two players that celebrated their birthdays on game day. Ostapenko, who turned 20, became the first Latvian to reach a Grand Slam final with a
7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-3 victory over the 28-year-old Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland.
�I�m really happy to be in the final, especially on my birthday. It�s a nice gift,� said Ostapenko, who earned her maiden appearance in the final of a Grand Slam tournament.
She was also the first unseeded player to reach the final at Roland Garros in 34 years, according to the Women�s Tennis Association (WTA). � IANS