The runner-up of the 2014 edition Simona Halep set up a interesting final against unseeded Jelena Ostapenko on Thursday. Ostapenko is the youngest French Open finalist since Ana Ivanovic in 2007 and the seventh youngest at any Slam since 2000. In the mixed doubles final, Indian No 1 Rohan Bopanna and his Canadian partner Gabriela Dabrowski won their maiden Major title.
Off court, former champion Ivanovic was honoured at Roland Garros while another former champion Gustavo Kuerten put his weight behind Rafael Nadal not just winning La Decima, but five more as well. Dive in for all the on and off court action from Day 12 at Roland Garros.
The Big News
Birthday girl Ostapenko scripts history for Latvia
Jelena Ostapenko presented herself with the perfect 20th birthday gift by reaching a first French Open final after roaring past Switzerland’s Timea Bacsinszky on Thursday. The Latvian became the first Grand Slam finalist from her country as she overpowered 30th seed Bacsinszky 7-6 (7/4), 3-6, 6-3.
The world No 47 is the first unseeded player to reach the final in Paris since Mima Jausovec in 1983. She is also the youngest woman to advance to the final of a major since a 19-year-old Caroline Wozniacki finished runner-up at the 2009 US Open.
Halep eyes world top spot with title
Simona Halep reached her second French Open final with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Karolina Pliskova, taking her to within touching distance of a first Grand Slam title and the world No 1 spot.
The Romanian third seed, the runner-up to Maria Sharapova in 2014, will face unseeded Ostapenko as she attempts to win her first major and wrest the top spot in the WTA rankings from Angelique Kerber. Halep, buoyed by the lifeline of saving a match point after coming back from a set and 1-5 down against Elina Svitolina in the last eight, settled faster than her opponent.
The 25-year-old broke for 2-1 and never looked back. Halep, watched by Romanian Olympic gymnastics legend Nadia Comaneci, only hit eight winners but Pliskova’s 24 unforced errors proved key to the outcome.
Bopanna, Dabrowski save match points, win maiden Slam title
India’s Rohan Bopanna and Canada’s Gabriela Dabrowski saved two match points to claim their first Grand Slam title with victory in the French Open mixed doubles final.
The seventh seeds defeated Anna-Lena Groenefeld of Germany and Colombia’s Robert Farah 2-6, 6-2, 12-10 in the final. But they did it the hard way, coming back from a set and break down as well as trailing 9-7 in the super tiebreak where they faced two match points. It was a first Slam title for both the 37-year-old Bopanna and his 25-year-old partner from Ontario. Bopanna is only the fourth Indian player to win a major title after Sania Mirza, Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi.
Shot of the Day
Simona Halep was at her cracking best in the match against Pliskova, covering the court, changing directions on the ball, swinging it everywhere. See this snippet to believe it.
“I mean, what’s the point difference that we have? Ah, only one? Ah, bad luck. Okay. It’s a tough one. I cry now or later? It actually makes me cry now. Ah, but it’s okay.”
– Timea Bacsinszky on being told that she won 105 points to Ostapenko’s 106 in her defeat.
“I think the chase, it’s amazing, right? Like the cat and rat, they are one after another.”
– Gustavo Kuerten on the longtime rivalry between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
“I don’t miss the questions really, ‘Why did you lose? What happened today?’”
– Former champion Ana Ivanovic, now retired, not missing regular media inquisitions.
From the sidelines
There was be a ceremony to honor 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic at Roland Garros. The former world No 1 retired from the sport last year. Incidentally, finalist Ostapenko is the first teenager to make the last four at Roland Garros since Ivanovic did it back in 2007
1st – Ostapenko is first unseeded player in women’s final in 34 years.
4th – Bopanna became the fourth Indian to a win a Grand Slam.