Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Bacsinszky and Ostapenko in semi

Rain dominated Day 10 of Roland Garros 2017 so much so that the two scheduled male quarter finals were postponed until the following day.
Fortunately the two women's quarter finals were begun, and concluded with significant delays through a day and evening of frustration.

Both matches finished with the lower ranked players winning through to a semi final clash with each other, which was not a satisfying way to end a wet and miserable Paris Wednesday for supporters of French hope Kiki Mladenovic.

Mladenovic had opportunities against Swiss miss Timea Bacsinszky but was not able to hold together her game which until now had been held up as one to beat for the title.
Bacsinszky was flying under the radar, and shouldn't have been, considering her recent form on the Roland Garros clay.  Her ranking is below her actual playing ability, perhaps affected by an injury affected start to the year, but her results have been impressive in parts, including a win in Fed Cup over Mladenovic.

Timea hit more winners and kept her unforced errors to a minimum, while Kiki was less able to control her attacking shot making.  The break opportunities were more frequent for Timea, and although Kiki did particularly well in saving many with brilliance, it was not enough and each set was solidly snapped up 6-4 6-4 and Bacsinszky found herself again in a Grand Slam semi final.  Once more it would be on the Paris red clay, but this time her battle would not be with Super Serena but Surprise Jelena.

Jelena Ostapenko, who turns 20 on the day of her semi final, seems to thrive on giving away 0-5 starts.
Sam Stosur, in the round of sixteen, appeared to be giving the Latvian a thorough lesson.  However, after taking the set 6-2 Sam was turned into the student as an energised Ostapenko ripped apart the Aussie game to win her way to a quarter final with 11th seed Caroline Wozniacki.

Intriguingly, Wozniacki had never beaten Ostapenko in all of their previous three clashes, including two on clay last year.
Wozniacki began with hopes of reversing that trend, and quickly, in Stosur fashion 5-0, barely giving the teenager time to blink.

Ostapenko replied defiantly, breaking the Danish serve twice to bring it back to 4-5 and serving to level it all.
Wozniacki broke in time to lead 6-4, but as with Stosur, and even more decisively, Ostapenko hit Wozniacki out of Paris in the next two sets.

26 winners to 4 and 10 points won at the net from ten attempts compared with one from one, portrayed a young star intent on attacking to win a match rather than trying just to make as few mistakes as possible - the latter is what Wozniacki found herself doing because she ran out of winning options. 4-6 6-2 6-2 

Ostapenko is an exciting unknown quantity and yet another addition to the depth of women's tennis which is looking rich even when Serena leaves a huge gap.

Weather permitting we will see the remaining women's quarter finals on Day 11, plus all 4 Men's quarters, including the standout Djokovic v Thiem.

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