It’s women’s semi-final day at Roland Garros

All you need to know about today's two matches

It’s women’s semi-final day at Roland Garros

Simon Halep. Picture by: Chen Yichen/Xinhua News Agency/PA Images

There are just four women left in the draw and they are all just one game away from reaching Saturday’s French Open Final.

The first match on the Philippe Chatrier Court will see Jelena Ostapenko take on Timea Bacsinszky. This match is followed by Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova.

Jelena Ostapenko:

The 20-year-old Latvian has had an incredible tournament so far. She has come from a set behind on three separate occasions against some of the game's biggest names - such as Samantha Stosur and Caroline Wozniacki.

Her current ranking sees her just squeeze inside the top-50 but her fearless nature and self-belief on the court have given her huge success over the last two weeks in Paris. She has never gotten passed the third round of a Grand Slam.

Timea Bacsinszky:

Ranked 31st in the world, the crafty Swiss player has also enjoyed some fine performances in this year's tournament. The only set she has dropped was against Venus Williams in the Round of 16, however, she breezed through the next two sets losing just three games.

Her best finish in a Grand Slam came at the French Open two-years-ago where she lost in three sets to the-then World number one Serena Williams. Bacsinszky led by a set and a break but as the finish line beckoned she began to feel the pressure and lost the last ten games in a row. She will be hoping to go at least one better this year.

Czech Republic's Karolina Pliskova. Picture by: Liewig Christian/ABACA/ABACA/PA Images

 

In the second semi-final World number three Karolina Pliskova will take on the in-form World number four Simona Halep. This match is hugely significant. Not only will both women be looking to win their first Grand Slam title, both ladies have the opportunity to become World number one for the first time in their careers.

What needs to happen for either player to become world number one?

If Pliskova beats Halep she jumps to World number one ahead of Serena Williams and current World number one Angelique Kerber. For Halep to become number one she would have to win today’s match and Saturday's final. If Halep wins today but loses on Saturday, then Kerber stays at the top. It really is all to play for!

Simona Halep:

The pre-tournament favourite has shown incredible resilience so far. She didn’t drop a set in her first four matches but her match against Elina Svitolina looked to be her last. Halep was down 5-1 in the second set (having lost the first) and looked to be heading home.

She dug incredibly deep and managed to force a tie break winning five out of the last six games, even surviving a match point. The Romanian took the breaker 8-6 and took firm control of the match. She won the final set in 23 minutes, without dropping a game.

This is not uncharted territory for her though. She has made the semi-final of the US Open and Wimbledon. 2014 was her best finish in a Grand Slam losing out to Maria Sharapova in the French Open Final. Halep will be looking to reach the final in Paris for the second time in her career.

Karolina Pliskova:

It really couldn't be a bigger day for the 25-year-old. A win today puts her at the top of the world for the first time in her career and will give her a second opportunity of winning a Grand Slam title on Saturday.

She came agonisingly close last year in the US Open after she beat red hot favourite Serena Williams in the semi-final. Needing just three more games she fell short to Kerber in an enthralling final. Would the memories of that loss be healed if Pliskova could take the number one spot from Kerber?