French Open 2021, women’s semi-finals LIVE: Krejcikova takes first set; Pavlyuchenkova into final-Sports News , Firstpost en

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French Open Live: Live score and updates of the women’s singles semi-finals from Roland Garros.

Barbora Krejcikova takes on Maria Sakkari in the second women’s semi-final at French Open. AP

Great rally for the first point and it ends with a mistake from Sakkari, who sends a forehand flying into the doubles alley. 0-15. Sakkari makes it 15-15 with a backhand winner, that was a great combo she just hit Krejcikova with. Ah, a double fault from Sakkari, and it’s 15-30. Her first serve was narrowly wide, and she went over to look at it, but couldn’t spot anything out of order. Oh, Krejcikova has two set points! Sakkari hits long. Krejcikova wins the first set! She was able to weather a couple of tough spells and she comes out on top. 

That backhand has really let Zidansek down today. She misses another one, and Pavlyuchenkova wins the first point. Pavlyuchenkova then makes it 30-0 with a thunderous cross-court backhand winner. Just two points away from a win, she makes a terrible mistake, and gives Zidansek a little glimmer of hope. 30-15. Oh, excellent serve! Very, very fast, and Zidansek could do nothing but watch her return sail long. Two match points for Pavlyuchenkova. SHE IS THROUGH TO THE FINAL! HER FIRST-EVER GRAND SLAM FINAL! What a win from the Russian! Zidansek has had a great tournament, after failing to get past the first round on all her previous showings in a Grand Slam, but today, she just wasn’t good enough.

Alright, what does Pavlyuchenkova have in her locker now? Can she get the break and wrap this set up? First point goes Zidansek’s way, courtesy of a winner, but she terribly miscues a shot on the second point to gift it to Pavlyuchenkova. Pavlyuchenkova then gets another point with a brilliant counter-punching forehand that forces Zidansek into a mistake. Zidansek misses a first serve, and her second serve isn’t great, allowing Pavlyuchenkova to wrest control of the rally and force her into making a mistake. Pavlyuchenkova has two set points. Another first serve missed from Zidansek. Oh no, the pressure got to the Slovenian, she’s committed a double fault. Pavlyuchenkova takes the first set after 52 minutes.

Aaaand we’re off! Pavlyuchenkova will serve after Zidansek won the toss and chose to receive. An error apiece from either player to begin things, and it’s 15-15. Pavlyuchenkova then pulls off a delightful one-two combo with a serve out wide and a cross-court backhand winner. 30-15. The match’s first real rally comes on the next point, and Pavlyuchenkova wins it after Zidansek hits a shot wide. Two errors from Pavlyuchenkova now, and we’re on deuce. Early pressure from the Slovenian. She gets the advantage with a firmly struck forehand down the line. We’re back on deuce now. Pavlyuchenkova misses her first serve. Her second serve isn’t great, and Zidansek puts the pressure on her to get advantage again. Pavlyuchenkova then misses another shot, and it’s a very, very early break!

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the French Open. We focus on the women’s singles semi-finals today. Order of play:

Krejcikova will now serve to remain in the second set. Mistake from Sakkari to begin and she hits her return long. Krejcikova then misses a shot, firing her forehand into the doubles alley. Two aces out of absolutely nowhere for Krejcikova. She then pushes Sakkari wide and forces her into making a mistake to hold serve. 

Can Krejcikova really fight her way back into this set? It looked like a lost cause at one point, but she’s won three games in a row now. Krejcikova hits her return long. Sakkari then pushes her back, before charging towards the net and unleashing a slice into the corner of the court. 30-0. Another mistake from Krejcikova. Her backhand is hit straight into the net. A last mistake and Sakkari holds to love. 

Maria Sakkari wins the first two points of her service game, and she still looks very much in control. Krejcikova does well to push Sakkari wide with a backhand, and Sakkari’s return is fired into the net. Another mistake from Sakkari, 30-30. Oh, nice work from Sakkari there, she does well to keep up with Krejcikova’s attempts to force her wide and wins the point with a forehand winner. She makes an error on the next point though, and it’s deuce. Oh, great work from Krejcikova there! She moves Sakkari left and right and forced the Greek star into making a mistake under pressure. She has advantage! And now she’s broken serve! She did really well there to test Sakkari.

Krejcikova looks exhausted. Maria Sakkari sends back her serve with real power on it, and she’s left looking flat-footed. 0-15. Krejcikova tries a drop shot and pills it off quite superbly. 15-15. Krejcikova miscues her backhand and sends her shot flying long and wide. Sakkari then messes up a return, 30-30. Krekcikova charges towards the net and gets another point. 40-30. Another mistake, and it’s deuce. Advantage Krejcikova. Sakkari fails to get her forehand onto the court, and Krejcikova finally holds serve in this second set.

What’s Krejcikova got in her locker now? Will she write this set off, or will she try to fight back and rescue it? Sakkari appears to be distracted by a noise from the crowd, and she misses a shot. Krejcikova makes a mistake of her own, and it’s 15-15. A mistake apiece from either player, it’s 30-30. Krejcikova misses a running forehand, and then a backhand, and now Sakkari looks like she’s well and truly back into this contest.

What can Krejcikova do from here? She’s already showed in the match that she can claw her way back from a deficit. She does well to win the first point with a forehand winner down the line, it was some great footwork from the Czech star. A couple of points for Sakkari and a point for Krejcikova follow, 30-30. Double fault, and now Sakkari has a chance to go two breaks up in the second set! Mistake from Krejcikova, and Sakkari, despite being a set down, looks like she really could be shaping up for a remarkable win.

OH MY WORD! Krejcikova unleashes a backhand down the line, and it is placed right on the paint, that was a perfect shot. She then hits a return slightly wide, and at first, she isn’t convinced that missed, but upon walking over, she agrees with the umpire’s decision. She then wins the next point after pushing Sakkari out wide with a fast forehand, and Sakkari can only send it wide. Point for Sakkari, 30-30. Krejcikova attempts to continue a rally with a backhand slice, but she miscues it, and it flies wide. Sakkari is up 40-30 and if she can hold, it would be a great game. Yep, she holds, she has the early lead!

First point of the second set goes to Maria Sakkari, as Krejcikova hits long. She wins the second one with an inch-perfect backhand winner. Mistake from Sakkari and now it’s 15-30. Oof, sweet strike off the forehand from Krejcikova, and that just zipped past Sakkari. 30-30. Krejcikova then hits a shot long of the baseline, and Sakkari now has breakpoint. She works Krejcikova over, and bullies her into making a mistake. Sakkari is not letting her first set disappointment get to her. She seals the early break!

For the sixth year running, a first-time champion will be crowned at Roland Garros. There were six maiden quarter-finalists out of eight in the previous round and now we have four first-time semi-finalists at Roland Garros for the first time in the Open Era.

One of Maria Sakkari, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Barbora Krejcikova and Tamara Zidansek will lift the trophy on Saturday. But before we get to that stage, they have to get through the last-four which pits Pavlyuchenkova against Zidansek and Krejcikova versus Sakkari.

Sakkari is the highest-ranked player among the four at World No 18, 67 places above Zidansek, the first woman representing Slovenia to make the semi-finals of a Slam.

At 29, Pavlyuchenkova, a junior No 1, is into the semi-finals of a Grand Slam in her 52nd attempt. She accounted for a strong tournament favourite Aryna Sabalenka before sending Victoria Azarenka packing.

Zidansek entered the tournament with a 3-8 Grand Slam record with two first round exits in Paris. She started the tournament by making an announcement win over 2019 US Open champion Bianca Andreescu.

Sakkari is not a new name to the WTA Tour and in going deep into a tournament. But this is her first foray beyond the fourth round and it has come in convincing manner. She beat 2020 French Open finalist Sofia Kenin and then defending champion Iga Swiatek. She is the first Greek woman to make the quarters and then semi-finals of a tennis major.

Krejcikova, 2018 French Open doubles champion, is two wins from adding the singles title to her collection. Mentored by legendary late Jana Novotna, Krejcikova hadn’t won a Grand Slam singles match before last year’s Australian Open. Her run has seen her beat Elina Svitolina, Sloane Stephens and Coco Gauff.

Updated Date:

June 10, 2021 21:48:51 IST

TAGS:

Still not quite its packed, pre-pandemic self, Roland Garros bubbled with tennis, cheers and sun-kissed pleasures again on Sunday as this year’s tournament began with some colour back in its cheeks compared to the bland edition held in the autumnal chill last year.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is well-fancied to reach his maiden Grand Slam final, with Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer all in the other half of the draw.

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