French Open | Luck favours the brave as Halep comes back
Simona Halep, one of this year’s title favourites, produced an incredible fightback to reach the semifinals of the French Open, recovering from 1-5 down in the second set to make the last four.
I don’t know how I came back, he was playing tough, hard and strong. Maybe I was a little lucky but I didn’t give up. Simona Halep
The third seed was no doubt reminded of her coach’s ‘attitude’ advice, produced some very positive tennis to overcome the Ukranian Elina Svitolina who had beaten her in Rome.
She certainly avenged that defeat in dramatic fashion, going for her shots to gouge out a 3-6 7-6(6) 6-0 victory saving a match point in the process.
“I don’t know how I came back,” said 25-year-old Halep, who won 12 of the last 13 games on Suzanne Lenglen Court and served out the match with an ace.
“She was playing tough, hard and strong. Maybe I was a little lucky but I didn’t give up.”
Svitolina was philosophical. “You want me to cry?” she said. “I cannot be more positive. It’s tennis, it’s life, it happens.”
Halep will play Karolina Pliskova, the second seed, after the Czech beat Caroline Garcia 7-6(3) 6-4 in the other quarter-final.
World No 28 Garcia was the last French player in either draw but despite the support of the home crowd, was powerless to cause an upset against an opponent who looked to be always in control.
“I saw myself in TV and it looks like I’m relaxed,” she said. “But sometimes inside myself it’s not like this. I’m just trying not to show any emotion especially, on those big points. I just believed I can make it.”
Pliskova, 25, will replace Angelique Kerber as the new world number one if she makes the final, while Halep would rise to the top of the rankings should she claim the title in Paris.