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French Open: Ostapenko beats Bacsinszky to reach final

FRENCH OPEN

French Open: Ostapenko beats Bacsinszky to reach final

French Open: Ostapenko beats Bacsinszky to reach final

CHRISTIAN HARTMANN

REUTERS

Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko has become the first unseeded woman to make the final at Roland Garros since Mima Jausovec in 1983.

Jelena Ostapenko is Latvia's first Grand Slam finalist after beating Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 6-3 in the French Open semi-finals on Thursday.

On the day she turned 20, Ostapenko became the first unseeded player to reach the women's trophy decider at Roland Garros since Mima Jausovec back in 1983.

The world number 47 is also the youngest woman to advance to the final of a major since a 19-year-old Caroline Wozniacki was runner-up at the 2009 US Open.

Ostapenko: Semi-final win perfect birthday present

"I am really happy. I love to play here, I love you guys, you're amazing. I'm just happy with the way I celebrated my birthday!" said Ostapenko as the crowd sang 'Happy Birthday' to her.

For 30th-seeded Bacsinszky it was a second semi-final defeat in three years in Paris. "Of course I'm disappointed. I'm a competitor, and it really annoys me not to be in the final," said Bacsinszky, who was beaten on her 28th birthday.

"I'm not ashamed to say that she played better. She was braver. She had more courage. She was more successful."

Ostapenko fell in the first round on her main draw debut in Paris last year but is one win away from becoming the first player since Gustavo Kuerten in 1997 to win their maiden tour-level title at a Slam.

Kuerten won that year's French Open - the first of three Roland Garros titles for the Brazilian - on the same day Ostapenko was born.

Ostapenko plays a forehand during her semi-final match against Bacsinszky.

Ostapenko recovers from early break

Bacsinszky, who was beaten in three sets by eventual champion Serena Williams on her previous trip to the last four, broke Ostapenko for an early 2-0 lead.

But the Latvian took the challenge to Bacsinszky with her aggression, nipping ahead at 4-3 before the Swiss called for the trainer.

Bacsinszky complained of a problem above her right knee after jarring her foot in the clay and resumed play with her leg heavily taped.

Ostapenko faltered when she tried to serve it out at 6-5, but took the tie-break with a swinging backhand volley.

Bacsinszky levels before Ostapenko takes decider to seal final place

Ostapenko, whose average forehand speed of 76 mph this tournament has eclipsed that of Andy Murray (73), continued to let fly with a bombardment of winners and errors.

Bacsinszky pounced as Ostapenko's radar misfired to break for 4-3 in the second set before the Latvian gifted it to her with a double fault on set point.

But Ostapenko's fearless approach paid off after a series of breaks to start the decider, the Latvian landing the crucial blow to pull 4-3 ahead before sealing victory in two hours and 25 minutes.

Follow the live coverage match between Ostapenko vs Halep, French Open women's  final

Ostapenko (right) is congratulated by Bacsinszky after winning their sem-final clash in Paris.

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