The first of the ladies’ semi final matches at the French Open was a nail biter almost to the end. 7th seeded Maria Sharapova took on the challenge of 18th seeded Eugenie Bouchard – and what a challenge it was. Bouchard played the first set of her second major semi final (she got to the same stage at the Australian Open this year) like a seasoned professional, hitting fine groundies and getting Maria to run from side to side and thus forcing the errors from the more experienced player. Maria’s bad serve stats did not help her and the 20 year old Canadian took the first set 6-4. As in her two previous matches against Sam Stosur and Garbine Muguruza when Sharapova lost the first set, she worked incredibly hard in the second set. The Russian served for the set at 5-2 but Bouchard broke, held and broke again to level at 5-5, Sharapova eventually overcame her opponent to take the set at 7-5. Sharapova broke in the 4 game of the decider and ran up a 5-2 lead with Bouchard serving to stay in the match. Bouchard saved four match points before the Russian won the match with a brilliant forehand which landed on the line, to take the set 6-2 and move into her 3rd final in Paris.
Neither 28th seeded Andrea Petkovic nor her opponent, 4th seeded Simona Halep, had ever been to a slam semi to date. Halep had not dropped a set in the tournament en route to the semi, while Petkovic had two three setters on her journey. The German former world number 9 before injuries sidelined her, made a nervy start and allowed the silky smooth hitting of the Romanian to build leads of 2-0, 4-1 and 5-2 before stuttering a little when serving for the set. In the longest game of the set she finally took the first set 6-2 on her 4th set point. Petkovic came out for the second set with a completely different mindset and was far more aggressive. Games when with serve until Halep broke in the 4th game, but Petkovic broke straight back. On serve again, some great tennis saw the set go to a breaker. Halep led 4-1 before the German took a couple of points, but Halep stayed strong to take it 7-4 on her first match point to be the first Romanian in 34 years to play in a French Open final.
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