Romania’s Simona Halep literally turned the tables on the Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina today, to advance to this year’s semi-finals at the French Open in Paris.
The 5th seed, Svitolina, had a fantastic start, soon finding herself with a 5-0 lead in the first set, but in the 6th game, on Halep’s serve, the Ukranian committed a string of forehand errors, allowing Halep to get on the scoreboard. The 3rd seed, Halep, then managed to break her opponent’s serve and hold her own before Svitolina won her service game to take the set, courtesy of a Halep backhand error.
Svitolina continued her momentum in the second set, breaking Halep’s serve and then holding her own. Halep won the third game, but the errors crept in and Svitolina took advantage, blasting a series of winners past her.
Svitolina, realising that she was close to the finish line, started tensing up, making more errors. Halep, who was not done yet, literally fought her way back to force the tie-breaker. Both players made a string of errors during the tie-breaker, with Svitolina’s backhand failing her on three consecutive points, before she managed to sneak a brave backhand winner past Halep. Svitolina found herself at match point, but Halep levelled with a classy backhand winner. Svitolina then faltered and Halep, with a stroke of net play luck, won the second set.
The reality of the second set and a breakdown in confidence took it’s toll on the Ukranian as the experienced Halep raced to bagel win in the third set.
The final score was 3-6 7-6(6) 6-0.