Foul weather completely disrupted the tenth day of play at the French Open with the majority of the matches postponed for 24-hours including the much-awaited clash between the defending champion and the fast improving Austrian, Dominic Thiem plus the all-Spanish encounter between Pablo Carrena Busta and the player going for his tenth title at Roland Garros, Rafa Nadal.
She's a really nice girl. We saw each other in the gym after today's matches and congratulated each other and hugged. Yeah, it's pretty funny we have the same birthday. Timea Bacsinszky
After nine days of perfect weather, strong wind followed by rain allowed only two matches in the women’s draw to be eventually completely on Tuesday despite repeated breaks before the organisers called it a day around 8.00pm local time.
Jelena Ostapenko and Timea Bacsinszky will be breathing a sigh of relief at coming through the heavy weather to face each other in one of the semi-finals while the top half of the draw remains undecided.
Ostapenko is the one name no one expected to be seeing filling one of the last four places. Ranked 47, she is the first Latvian to make the semis of a grand slam and her win came in a match disrupted by the weather on three occasions. She battled throughout against the more defensive and experienced Caroline Wozniacki, forcing the Danish former world number one into a third set decider which she trailed 1-2 when forced back into the locker rooms for a third time.
On their return, it was a nerveless Ostapenko who settled the quicker to take full command and string together five successive games to close out the quarte-final and secure her place in the last four 4-6 6-2 6-2 striking 38 winners past the Dane who could only muster 6.
Baczinsky had similar problems as regards rain-breaks in her match with home favourite Kristina Mladenovic who failed to live up to French expectations going out after six hours, 6-4 6-4.
The Swiss player who comes from a Hungarian background, continues to rebuild her career which had been abruptly broken by injury and abuse from her father five years ago. She was going to go into hotel management but decided to try tennis again two years ago and has not looked back rising up the rankings where she currently sits at 31.
In what is an ironic twist of fate, the 19-year-old Ostapenko and Bacsinszky, 27, will be celebrating their respective 20th and 28th birthdays when they face each other for what will be biggest result of their respective careers, a place in the final of the French Open.
“It’s a nice story, pretty cool,” said Bacsinszky who goes into Thursday’s match the favourite. “We played doubles together in Wuhan last year and we have practised a lot together.
“She’s a really nice girl. We saw each other in the gym after today’s matches and congratulated each other and hugged.
“Yeah, it’s pretty funny we have the same birthday.
“Lucky for her that she’s just 20 but maybe lucky for me as I have more experience!”