Ostapenko may have lost in the first round last year and failed to make it out of qualifying a year earlier in Paris but that was largely down to her inexperience.
After advancing to the semifinals of the French Open Grand Slam tennis tournament on Tuesday, becoming the first lady tennis player from Latvia to ever do so, Alona Ostapenko said that this achievement is something which is hard to believe, but called tomorrow's match on her birthday as "exciting".
Pliskova, also in quest for the world No. 1 place, bounced back in a 6-3 win in the second set.
Svitolina is No.1 in the 2017 standings and arrived in Paris fresh from a final victory over Halep at the Italian Open. Current No. 1 Angelique Kerber was ousted in the first round of this tournament.
Despite Switzerland's Bacsinszky being a French speaker, Ostapenko was the crowd favorite, perhaps due to her flashy game. Nothing is guaranteed, however, as Ostapenko has been surging throughout The Open. "This is one the match could be totally different from the beginning", commented Pliskova. Pliskova is the more aggressive player who likes to attack the net and win points with decisive shots.
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Pliskova's fight never died out. Ostapenko isn't serving well and has been broken many times, but it's the fact she's produced a combined 134 winners in her last three matches that's allowed her to get to this point. After making 55 unforced errors throughout the match, a long return ended up being the final volley.
Pliskova saved three set points but was powerless on the fourth as Halep wrapped up the opener after 45 minutes.
All-in-all, it was a grueling day for Pliskova and one that tested Halep's fortitude.
"Not finished", Simona Halep quipped when asked to reflect on her French Open campaign after handling Czech Karolina Pliskova's power to reach her second final at Roland Garros.
It was clear from the start that Ostapenko was going to be the aggressor and she edged a first set in which she hit 21 winners.
The third seed was briefly dumped by coach Darren Cahill in March because of her poor attitude and the Australian will certainly know he made the right decision in coming back after this superb display of fighting spirit. The matchup presents a lot of interesting variables, as Ostapenko has already proven that she can play against highly-ranked players.