This Thursday the semifinals of the women’s team of the Roland Garros tournament were played. Czech Barbora Krejcikova and Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will play their first grand slam final this Saturday.
In this edition, the semi-finals of Roland Garros were between Europeans and without any Top 10 players. They are Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Tamara Zidansek, Maria Sakkari and Barbora Krejcikova. All four players arrived for the first time this round of a grand slam tournament. Only once in the history of grand slams had something like this happened: in 1978 at the Australian Open.
Pavlyuchenkova: 52nd is the charm
The first semifinal of the women’s team was played on Thursday afternoon by the Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and the Slovenian Tamara Zidansek
It was a match of two combative players. The Slovenian showed good tennis and put the public on her side.
The battle was difficult. The 29-year-old Russian had to serve and keep the first set. But the Slovenian fought back scoring some memorable points and equalizing at 5-5.
However, the lack of consistency was fatal to conclude that set with a double fault in his service that gave the sleeve to his opponent 7-5.
In the end, Pavlyuchenkova knew how to keep her nerves at bay to serve and win the second set and the match 6-3.
Pavlyuchenkova, who has contested 51 grand slams in her career, has never made it past the quarter-finals before. Now you have the chance to be crowned in Paris. Entry to the top 20 is already guaranteed
Suspense and ‘Greek tragedy’ at the Chatrier
The other semifinal of the women’s draw was between Barbora Krejcikova and Maria Sakkari. A match that began with two very cautious players measuring their strengths.
Krejcikova broke her opponent’s serve on entry. The entry into the matter of the Greek was full of unforced errors. It was very different from how it came out yesterday against Iga Swiatek, the defending champion.
On more than one occasion Sakkari rushed when he had to close the point, sending the ball out. Krejcikova knew how to build the points to equalize and be 3-3 and take advantage of the fact that the Greek multiplied the unforced errors to go up 4-3.
But Sakkari is fierce. She broke Krejcikova’s serve to 5-4 and served in hopes of equalizing. And he called 5-5. Krejcikova knew how to return and the Greek seemed very nervous. So much so, that he ended up racking up enough errors to end up losing the first set 7-6 in 56 minutes.
Maria Sakkari started a perfect second set, as if making a clean slate. She was 0-4, but again unforced errors and a methodical game by the Czech made her way more difficult. Krejcikova shortened the lead and reached 3-4.
The Greek managed a 3-5 and stay with the set 4-6 but suffering in 38 long minutes.
With this, the match went to a decisive third set that started close. Sakkari was keeping calm, showing less vulnerable. He was 4-5 and had a point to win the game. But in the Greek, the nerves and the more than two and a half hours of play were making a dent in her and she could not finish. The Czech took advantage and got ahead 6-5. Sakkari responded by calling 6-6.
The suspense took hold of the final part of the third set that went to 7-7 and that was a roller coaster of emotions for both players. So much so that Barbora Krejcikova anticipated to celebrate the victory, believing that her opponent’s ball had hit out.
At the end with 8-7 and a close 40-40 game, it was the Czech who, this time, ended up with the 9-7 victory.
Before deputizing her final on Saturday, the Czech will return to the court this Friday for the women’s doubles semifinal with her compatriot Katerina Siniakova.
Taking both titles in the same edition of Roland Garros is something that only the French Mary Pierce has achieved. His double victory was obtained in 2000.