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French Open Women's Semis Set: Pliskova vs. Halep to Determine No. 1

French Open Women's Semis Set: Pliskova vs. Halep to Determine No. 1

It's obviously something that has affected large parts of Europe. I have hit the ball cleaner and started to hit the right shots at the right moments. Her forehand can break down under pressure, but the unrelenting speed she can generate off the backhand can catch many players off guard. "[I have] come a long way the last 10 days or so".

Next up is Svitolina, who beat the Romanian in the final of the Italian Open the week before Paris.

Pliskova reached the U.S. Open final a year ago but had never been past the second round in five previous appearances in Paris.

She entered this year's Roland Garros with just two wins in five previous visits. They have never played each other in singles. "It was windy, tough conditions".

"I just felt that it was like a shock, because I lost the coach", Halep said after setting up a last-eight showdown with Ukraine's fifth seed Elina Svitolina, the only player to beat the world No.4 on clay in 2017.

Title favourite Halep was being overpowered and looked set for a disappointing exit before turning things around to win 3-6 7-6 (8/6) 6-0.

"I just sat down at 5-2". On a hard court, it becomes more of an equaliser, but Pliskova does not have the natural slide on the clay like Halep does and that makes a huge difference.

The Swiss confronts Croatia's Marin Cilic in the last eight after the 2014 US Open victor advanced when South Africa's Kevin Anderson retired while trailing 6-3 3-0.




Romania's Halep trailed 3-6 1-5, but mounted a stunning recovery to save the match point during the second set tie-break which she won 8-6 before racing away with the match by whitewashing a fading Svitlonia in the third set on Suzanne-Lenglen Court.

Halep has the edge on Pliskova in terms of experience and head-to-head wins (she leads 4-1) but Pliskova's recent Grand Slam pedigree - she reached the US Open final and the quarters in Australia - confirm there is a new contender in the mix at the top of the WTA tree.

"She's playing also for being world number one". That was a match Halep has blown in the past, and it was nice to see her dig deep and find a way to come through with the victory. "I was, like, "there is no chance I make the final here", said Pliskova.

- He has now recorded 100 best-of-five-sets victories on clay out of just 102 matches, with his only defeats coming at Roland Garros to Robin Soderling in the round of 16 in 2009, and to Djokovic in the 2015 quarter-finals.

World No.3 Karolina Pliskova overcame an bad start to beat Veronica Cepede Royg of Paraguay 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 to reach the quarters for the first time. In another quarterfinal, Pliskova meets No. 28 Caroline Garcia, a 6-2, 6-4 victor against Alize Cornet in a match between two Frenchwomen.

"I started maybe going for too much sometimes and then she was back into the game", said Svitolina.

The 30-year-old Briton made only one unforced error in pocketing the opening set and although he did drop serve late in the second he broke back immediately to take complete control of his first meeting with the talented Russian.


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