Bacsinszky, Ostapenko in French Open semi-final birthday battle


This means that the victor will be among the 12 women left in the draw - Mladenovic, Wozniacki, Jelena Ostapenko, Timea Bacsinszky, Elina Svitolina, Carlos Suarez Navarro, Petra Martic, Caroline Garcia, Alize Cornet, Veronica Cepede-Royg and Karolina Pliskova.

There were, though, tears of disappointment over on Court Philippe Chatrier, where Kristina Mladenovic's hopes of becoming a first French champion since Mary Pierce in 2000 evaporated as she was beaten 6-4 6-4 by Timea Bacsinszky, the number 30 seed from Switzerland. "To play in the semi-final of Roland Garros on your birthday, it's really nice", said Ostapenko. "Hopefully I can keep going this way".

Bacsinszky, meanwhile, can now look forward to a second French Open semi-final in three years.

FRENCH favourite Kristina Mladenovic skidded out of a storm-struck French Open on Tuesday, losing 6-4, 6-4 to Timea Bacsinszky in a rain-interrupted quarter-final. Her affection for the tournament enticed her back from burnout in 2013 after she'd distanced herself from the game and gone back to school to study hotel management.

But, somehow, Ostapenko fought back and made it 4-5.

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The No. 32 seed Zhang set her personal best at Roland Garros by reaching the last 32 with two victories over unseeded players, before facing a tougher challenge from the two-time Grand Slam singles victor Kuznetsova. After a quick hold, Wozniacki broke Ostapenko to 15, but she didn't have it all her own way on serve as she saved five break points in her next two service games.

- Ostapenko when asked if her ballroom dancing competitions as a youngster helped prepare her for the big stage in tennis.

Djokovic has been struggling for consistency and the 23-year-old Thiem is expected to provide a tough challenge even if the Austrian has won only one set in their five previous encounters.

Now Ostapenko will play for a berth in the final Thursday, which just so happens to be Ostapenko's 20th birthday and Bacsinszky's 28th. The 19-year-old Latvian tennis player wins 4-6, 6-2, 6-2.

All seven former Grand Slam champions in this year's French Open draw, and seven of the 10 Major finalists had all fallen by the wayside by the quarter-finals.

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Those last three words might as well be printed on posters to commemorate the 2017 French Open.

Two rain delays - totalling nearly four hours - disrupted the day's play and meant Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic's French Open quarter-finals were postponed until Wednesday.

Bacsinszky blasted Mladenovic's assertion that the Swiss was renowned for bending the rules, but she was keen to move on from the incident.

"It was really hard because we had all the seasons rolled into one today", she said.

"I know because we played doubles together past year in Wuhan... That's not my mindset", said Mladenovic, who is through to the last eight at a major for just the second time.

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