Women’s Singles final: Barbora Krejcikova vs.  Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-6, 9-7 Sakkari: A fourth match point and Hawkeye showed that Sakkari had hit the ball long but the chair umpire overruled. This will reignite the Hawkeye on clay debate again for sure. Sakkari got it back to deuce and then got an advantage before sending a forehand wide. And then finally on the fifth matchpoint after 3 hours and 18 minutes, Krejcikova sealed a place in the final. A year ago, Krejcikova was outside the top 100 in the singles wondering whether she needed to stick to just doubles. And now she is in the final of the French Open. What a story!
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-6, 8-7 Sakkari: Both players finding their groove now. They are serving better, the groundstrokes are better. It has been tough to watch at times but with so much at stakes, the players have given it their all. This set has already been on for 75 minutes.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-6, 7-7 Sakkari: Krejcikova saved a match point earlier in the day and now Sakkari saved three. The tennis is finally picking up. Both players giving it their all. So close to victory, so close to defeat.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-6, 7-6 Sakkari: Krejcikova holds too as the match moves towards the three-hour mark. The player don’t look fatigued though.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-6, 6-6 Sakkari: Massive hold for the Greek. She didn’t try to play safe, she stayed true to her game and it paid off. The level is going up a bit now.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-6, 6-5 Sakkari: Krejcikova moves ahead for the first time in the third set. Now, the pressure will be right back on Sakkari. Match on the line. A tricky service game coming up.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-6, 5-5 Sakkari: With the match on the line, Krejcikova gets the break back to bring the match back on serve. There is no tiebreaker in the third set at Roland Garros, so this could go on for a while.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-6, 4-5 Sakkari: Krejcikova was down a set point but came up with some wonderful nerveless tennis to win the game. She stays alive for now but Sakkari will serve for the match next.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-6, 3-5 Sakkari: Good, good hold for Sakkari. She inches closer to sealing a place in the final. Krejcikova will serve to stay in the match.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-6, 3-4 Sakkari: Solid hold for Krejcikova, arrests Sakkari’s momentum a bit. Still very tense in the middle.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-6, 2-4 Sakkari: Big hold for Sakkari. Well, every hold is big in this match. But we are finally starting to see better rallies in the middle. Krejcikova is starting to find her backhand while Sakkari can see the finish line now.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-6, 2-3 Sakkari: Krejcikova races through the game in just 2 mins, 36 seconds. Just what the Czech player needed here. Sakkari still a break up.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-6, 1-3 Sakkari: Sakkari was in a tight spot there but she backs up the break with some gutsy tennis. Both players are still jittery.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-6, 1-2 Sakkari: BREAK! As she did in the first and second sets, Sakkari gets the first break in the third set too. She certainly seems to have more belief at the moment. Both players have the shots but this is about holding their nerve more than anything else.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-6, 1-1 Sakkari: And Sakkari holds too. A wonderful crosscourt drop shot to seal the game. Maybe we will finally see both players playing the kind of tennis they can actually play.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-6, 1-0 Sakkari: Krejcikova holds to love. Solid serving. Just looked a little calmer.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-6 Sakkari: Three sets points for Sakkari and then she finally clinches the second set. The Greek world no 18 was getting nervous and tight but managed to hold on. 8 UE’s by Sakkari compared to 18 by Krejcikova in the second set.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 4-5 Sakkari: Krejcikova with an easy hold. A couple of aces in the game and it means that Sakkari will need to serve out the set.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 3-5 Sakkari: Massive hold for Sakkari. She needed that. Krejcikova was clawing her way back in the second set but Sakkari holds on, stays ahead.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 3-4 Sakkari: Another hold for Krejcikova who has now taken three games on the trot. It looked like Sakkari was in charge but in this match, predictions are fraught with danger.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 2-4 Sakkari: Krejcikova gets one of the breaks back.
Good movement, smooth groundstrokes and she got the break back. Now, Sakkari seems to be feeling the nerves. It has been that kind of match.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 1-4 Sakkari: Krejcikova with her first hold of the set. It wasn’t easy but she will be feeling some sense of relief. Can she get back in the set?
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 0-4 Sakkari: Sakkari with another hold. Krejcikova’s game has simply fallen apart here.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 0-3 Sakkari: BREAK! Sakkari gets the double break to take a 3-0 lead. Krejcikova has simply fallen apart after winning the first set. Sakkari has become more confident after losing the first set. It should have been the other way around.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 0-2 Sakkari: A solid hold for Sakkari. She needed this start to the second set after losing the first set. The confidence will come back and allow her to play as we all know she can. The UE count is down for sure.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5, 0-1 Sakkari: BREAK! Now Sakkari, just like she did in set one, gets the early break in the second set. No way to really judge the flow of this match. Just when it looks like one player is in the ascendancy, the unforced errors come to the fore.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 7-5 Sakkari: A long forehand gave Krejcikova two set points and she only needed one. A 55-minute set but the action could have been so much better. Too many unforced errors by both players (18 for Krejcikova and 18 for Sakkari).
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 6-5 Sakkari: Krejcikova with a rare hold. The pressure will now be right back onto Sakkari. A break here and the set will belong to the Czech. How will the Greek respond?
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 5-5 Sakkari: Sakkari with an important hold at love. She has now taken eight points in a row. She was 3-5 down – 8 points later, she is back at 5-5. A rather quick turnaround for the Greek.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 5-4 Sakkari: And Sakkari break right back. She looked to be moving a little better in the game, a bit more free. So many twists and turns in this match. Neither of the two players seems to be able to hold serve.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 5-3 Sakkari: Break! Krejcikova more in control now and it shows. She made it 0-40 very quickly and then converted the second breakpoint with a wonderful lob. Now, the Czech will serve for the first set.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 4-3 Sakkari: The Czech finally leads after an important hold. But still very sketchy play by both players. The nerves should be history by now. Sakkari has found no rhythm.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 3-3 Sakkari: BACK ON SERVE! Too many unforced errors from both players... too many shots going wide or into the net. But the game still ended up going to deuce before Krejcikova eventually got the break back.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 2-3 Sakkari: Sakkari had two breakpoints but Krejcikova fought back to make it deuce. Then an ace gave Krejcikova before it went back to deuce after the Czech player sent a forehand wide. Sakkari sent a service return wide to hand the advantage right back but Krejcikova then committed a double fault. But Krejcikova finally managed to hold on for her first hold of the match. Maybe this will allow her to find her feet.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 1-3 Sakkari: Finally, we have a hold. Sakkari consolidates the break. She is showing good energy and that helps. Both players still not at their best but the hold will give the Greek a lot of confidence.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 1-2 Sakkari: And we still don’t have our first service hold of the match. Sakkari breaks again. This is a very nervy start to the match, lots of unforced errors by both players who seem to be playing at the moment. Who’ll blink first?
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 1-1 Sakkari: BREAK BACK! Sakkari fails to consolidate the break and sends a forehand long to hand the break right back to Krejcikova. A shaky start by both player. Nerves at play.
Second semifinal, Krejcikova 0-1 Sakkari: First game and first break of serve! Strong start for Sakkari as she finds depth in her groundstrokes and benefits from a couple of errors by Krejcikova.
8.48 pm: We’re ready for play! Krejcikova to serve first. Here we go!
Maria Sakkari has won the toss and elected to receive.
8.42 pm: The players are out on the court! There will be a brief warmup now before play begins.
Maria Sakkari (GRE x17) v Barbora Krejcikova (CZE)
Paths to the semi-final (x indicates seeded player):
1st rd: bt Katarina Zavatska (UKR) 6-4, 6-1
2nd rd: bt Jasmine Paolini (ITA) 6-2, 6-3
3rd rd: bt Elise Mertens (BEL x14) 7-5, 6-7 (2/7), 6-2
4th rd: bt Sofia Kenin (USA x4) 6-1, 6-3
QF: bt Iga Swiatek (POL x8) 6-4, 6-4
1st rd: bt Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
2nd rd: bt Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS x32) 6-2, 6-3
3rd rd: bt Elina Svitolina (UKR x5) 6-3, 6-2
4th rd: bt Sloane Stephens (USA) 6-2, 6-0
QF: bt Coco Gauff (USA x24) 7-6 (8/6), 6-3
Head-to-head: Krejcikova leads 1-0
8.30 pm: We’re not far away from the second women’s singles semi-final now between Maria Sakkari and Barbora Krejcikova.
First semifinal, Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 6-3 Zidansek: ANASTASIA PAVLYUCHENKOVA WINS!
What a moment. What a journey. A match point exchange that sums up the match. Zidansek doing all the heavylifting, Pavlyuchenkova hung in there with her defence and then the Slovenian sends the backhand long. Terrific moment. In 2011 she reached a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the first time but never managed since to go beyond that stage. And now here she is!
First semifinal, Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 5*-3 Zidansek: BREAK OF SERVE! A fist pump by AP as she breaks Zidansek’s serve again, and now she will serve for a place in the final.
First semifinal, Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 4-3 Zidansek: And we are back on serve! Zidansek puts early pressure on AP’s serve to go up 0-30 but the Russian nails a superb forehand winner. But the Slovenian simply persists with the pressure, and AP hits a double fault on break point, her second of the game. Commentators reckoned the Russian became tighter there with the finish line in sight.
First semifinal, Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 4-2 Zidansek: Well that’s one way to say this is not over yet. Zidansek comes up with a service hold at love. There is still life in this.
First semifinal, Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 4-1 Zidansek: Pavyluchenkova driving home the advantage now. A quick service hold to 15.
First semifinal, Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 3*-1 Zidansek: AP showing her experience again, injecting pace into her shots at the big points and forcing errors. This is such a tactical display by the Russian. The stats will show Unforced Errors for Zidansek, but Pavlyuchenkova made her commit. Breaks again.
First semifinal, Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 2-1 Zidansek: And Zidansek breaks back! Clutch from the youngster. A short game too, she went hard and breaks AP to 15 to bring the second set back on serve. Not going away without a fight, the Slovenian.
First semifinal, Pavlyuchenkova 7-5, 2-0 Zidansek: Pavlyuchenkova is a set and break up! After a 5-minute service hold, she pushes Zidansek all the way on her serve and converts the second break point chance. Nearly 13 minutes for the first two games combined! Once again, the Russian doing exceptionally well on big points, knowing when to pounce. Solid tennis.
Zenia D’Cunha: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the most experienced of the four, holds her nerve after being broken in the first game and while serving for it, to take the edgy first set. 52 minutes on the clock tells you something.
FIRST SET STATS: Correction, it was Zidansek’s second double fault.
Pavlyuchenkova 7-5 Zidansek: A set where the Slovenian had better stats but the Russian’s experience came to the fore.
Unforced errors: 11-19
First serve %: 71-78%
Break points: 3/6 - 2/7
First semifinal, Pavlyuchenkova 7-5 Zidansek: Not a good time for the serve to desert you! Zidansek is put under pressure and what a disastrous moment to register your first double fault, when down set points. At 15-40, the pressure proves a bit much for Zidansek and Pavlyuchenkova plays a steady game to clinch the first set.
First semifinal, Pavlyuchenkova 6-5 Zidansek: AP was in trouble but she hangs on! Down 15-40 on her serve, she fights back. Another nearly 6-minute long game on her serve. It’s been ebbing and flowing, this set but Zidansek might rue these break points missed. She is 2 out of 7 now.
First semifinal, Pavlyuchenkova 5-5 Zidansek: The Slovenian has a superb first serve % of just over 80 at the moment and has hit twice the winners as AP. She holds again to make it 5-5.
First semifinal, Pavlyuchenkova 5-4 Zidansek: BACK ON SERVE! Brilliant from Zidansek to recover from that costly break of serve. She needed a third break point chance in that game, but shows great character to break back with the set on the line. Lovely court coverage on display.
First semifinal, Pavlyuchenkova 5-3 Zidansek: AP on the charge! After a solid hold of her serve, it seemed Zidansek will have one of her own as she raced to a 40-0 lead. But a few rash moments from there and the Russian breaks serve out of nowhere. She will now serve for the first set.
First semifinal, Pavlyuchenkova 3-3 Zidansek: Identical service holds from both players. First AP holds to 15 and then Zidansek follows that up with the same. Good from the Slovenian, because it just started to look like the Russian veteran was starting to get into solid momentum.
First semifinal, Pavlyuchenkova 2-2 Zidansek: Confidence boosting service hold for Pavlyuchenkova (We shall go with AP for her from here) as well. She holds at love. And then has three break points in the next game. Zidansek saves one with a searing winner, saves another two with errors from the Russian for deuce. AP then converts the fourth break point chance. Back on level terms.
First semifinal, Pavlyuchenkova 0-2 Zidansek: Well, well. The Slovenian youngster gets going with a break of serve to kickstart proceedings. She converts the second break point in a nearly 6-minute game to start off. And then comes up with a nerveless service hold to love. Quite the start!
We are underway in Paris. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs Tamara Zidansek , with the former serving first.
Paths to the semi-final (x indicates seeded player):
1st rd: bt Christina McHale (USA) 6-4, 6-0
2nd rd: bt Ajla Tomljanovic (AUS) 6-2, 6-3
3rd rd: bt Aryna Sabalenka (BLR x3) 6-4, 2-6, 6-0
4th rd: bt Victoria Azarenka (BLR x15) 5-7, 6-3, 6-2
QF: bt Elena Rybakina (KAZ x21) 6-7 (2/7), 6-2, 9-7
1st rd: bt Bianca Andreescu (CAN x6) 6-7 (1/7), 7-6 (7/2), 9-7
2nd rd: bt Madison Brengle (USA) 6-4, 6-1
3rd rd: bt Katerina Siniakova (CZE) 0-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-2
4th rd: bt Sorana Cirstea (ROM) 7-6 (7/4), 6-1
QF: bt Paula Badosa (ESP x33) 7-5, 4-6, 8-6
Hello and welcome to the live coverage of the women’s singles semi-finals at the 2021 French Open.
Maria Sakkari, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Barbora Krejcikova and Tamara Zidansek are the final four in action. Would you have picked that lineup at the start of the tournament? For just the second time in the Open era, there are four first-time major semi-finalists in the women’s singles, after the 1978 Australian Open.
First up: Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS x31) v Tamara Zidansek (SLO)