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Timea Bacsinszky and Jelena Ostapenko to vie for first Slam final berth

Timea Bacsinszky and Jelena Ostapenko to vie for first Slam final berth”

Fans' favourite dumped out Kristina Mladenovic, of France, had been strongly fancied by some of the home fans to go all the way this year but was...

For the first time since the 1979 Australian Open, won by American Barbara Jordan, every player to reach the last eight here has never won a grand slam title previously. In the victory, Wozniacki won 66 percent of her first serve points and 48 percent of her second serve points. Factor in that the first delay lasted over three hours and it was a day in which the mental aspect of the game was vitally important.

Caroline Wozniacki had a relatively obstacle-free path to the quarterfinals, defeating a title favorite in Svetlana Kuznetsova along the way.

But she calibrated her strokes better as the air swirled less and it was clear Ostapenko was up to the task against the 11th-seeded Wozniacki, who is 26. In winning 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, the Latvian teen hit 38 winners to Wozniacki's six and is now 4-0 against the former world No. 1 in the last two seasons, with three of those wins on clay. The 27-year-old victor said that the conditions made it hard to focus.

Tough or not, the dazzlingly white smile is back on Wozniacki's face, and without the pregnant Serena Williams and the missing Maria Sharapova in the draw, she might just be ready to erase that asterisk next to her name. Ostapenko's power game has been on fire and after battling back from a set down in the fourth round, she is going to have all the momentum rolling.

Ostapenko's mood was as dark as the menacing black clouds circling above and she gesticulated forlornly towards her mother Jelena, who is also her coach, as shot after shot flew long.

Bacsinszky, meanwhile, can now look forward to a second French Open semi-final in three years.

"Caroline is a tough opponent, I knew I had to stay aggressive, I lost it sometimes but I found my game".

"She's a really nice person". I was happy for her that she was in the semi-final, as well.

She held to force Bacsinszky to serve it out, and the Swiss was equal to the task, ensuring she gets to play in the semi-finals tomorrow - her birthday. She was playing her third consecutive French Open quarter-final on Tuesday and is now into her second semi in three years.

Bacsinszky or Ostapenko can make it a double celebration when they meet on Thursday as both women celebrate their birthdays. Djokovic is the defending champion.

Serving for the set, Bacsinszky opened with an ace, saved a break point at 30-40 then closed the 62-minute opener slashing her third ace out wide.

When the two women's quarters are finished, two men's quarter-finals matches are scheduled between Spaniards Rafael Nadal, fourth seeded and nine times victor, and compatriot Pablo Carreño; and defending champion Novak Djokovic of Serbia and Austrian Dominic Thiem.

A resurgent Rafael Nadal has been the top performer on the dirt and the nine-time French Open champion will be expected to get past fellow Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta in his quarterfinal.



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