Troubled sleep, then a French Open dream for Bacsinszky

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Troubled sleep, then a French Open dream for Bacsinszky

Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky and Latvia's Jelena Ostapenko advanced to the women's singles semi-finals in the French Open tennis championships.

"Lucky her, she's way younger than I am", said Bacsinszky, the No. 30 seed from Switzerland who defeated France's 13th-seeded Kristina Mladenovic 6-4, 6-4 on Tuesday in a quarterfinal match twice delayed by persistent rain and stormy weather for a total of nearly four hours.

The now retired Ivanovic was present at Roland Garros on Thursday and was honored by the French tennis federation in a ceremony after the first semifinal.

Her favourite dance? "The Samba", she says with a laugh because she likes the songs suitable for it.

PARIS Suddenly a Grand Slam semifinalist for the first time, Jelena Ostapenko sounded a lot like the carefree teenager she'll be for only a bit longer.

"The one thing we did when Ivan [Lendl, his coach] got here, we went right back to the basics", said Murray yesterday.

"I knew she would be a formidable opponent", the 30th seed grinned.

"To play semi-final of Roland Garros on your birthday, I think it's really nice. So I think it's maybe kind of new generation", says Ostapenko, who is yet to win a title but made the Charleston final on green clay in April and has made two previous finals in Doha and Quebec City over the last two years.

"In some moments I felt a little bit tight because it was already, like, a semifinal!" she said. But lucky her, she's way younger than I am.

A three-time champion at Roland Garros, Kuerten will be honored before Sunday's final when he will receive his Hall of Fame ring during a ceremony marking 20 years since he won his first title in Paris.

She meets Bacsinszky in the semifinals on Thursday.

Ostapenko faltered when she tried to serve it out at 6-5, but the Latvian took the tie-break with a swinging backhand volley.

That was an advantage that she soon surrendered and then just as quickly seized back, before going on to wrap up a dramatic win, fittingly with a final break of serve to become the first Latvian to reach a grand slam final.

Mladenovic, bidding to be the first Frenchwoman in the semi-finals since Marion Bartoli in 2011, was broken in her first service game by Bacsinszky before she levelled at 2-2.

One who hits the ball as if she's angry at it. She was braver. She had more courage.

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.

. The first? The very venue that Serena pulled off her come-from-behind heroics, the 2015 French Open.

Mladenovic briefly gave the rain-hit home crowd hope when she moved 3-1 ahead in the second set, only for Bacsinszky to recover with two breaks to lead 5-3 before closing out victory in one hour and 51 minutes. Last night I went to bed more or less at 11:00. "I think that's what made these matches more special".

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