The Women’s semifinals are set in Paris, as elite players Simona Halep and Karolina Pliskova will face off to be the favorite in the final against either Jelena Ostapenko or Timea Bacsinszky. Ryan Schick and Yesh Ginsburg offer their previews, with predictions.
Jelena Ostapenko vs. Timea Bacsinszky
Ryan: The semifinal everyone saw coming. Ostapenko has had an incredible run at 19, but runs into the experienced Timea Bacsinszky. Bacsinszky plays some of her best tennis on clay, and although her ranking has dropped is a former top-10 player who has made the semis at Roland Garros before. Ostapenko will come out with nothing to lose and keep playing well, but Bacsinszky will have the slight edge to be victorious. Bacsinszky in 3
Yesh: Ostapenko powered through a terrible start against Caroline Wozniacki to win without ever really being in danger. Timea Bacsinszky won’t get as defensive as Wozniacki did when nervous, though, and will provide a stiff test with her ability to dictate play with angle and spin. I think age and experience will come through in this battle of birthday girls. Bacsinszky in 3
Simona Halep vs. Karolina Pliskova
Ryan: After showing promise without playing her best tennis in majors, Karolina Pliskova made the US Open final last year and the quarters at this year’s Australian Open. Halep is similar, only making one major final, here in Paris, while consistently being a top player and racking up many tournament wins. Something will have to give here and Halep’s spin wins on the clay over Pliskova’s power. Halep in 3
Yesh: Simona Halep really should not be in this semifinal. She was down huge to Elina Svitolina before the rising Ukrainian folded in disappointing fashion. Pliskova has far more power in this matchup, but Halep should be the better clay player. If the Romanian can keep her nerves in check, this tournament should be hers to lose. Halep in 2