Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Halep's big comeback stuns Svitolina

Published:Thursday | June 8, 2017 | 6:00 AM
Romania's Simona Halep plays a shot against Ukraine's Elina Svitolina during their quarter-final match of the French Open at Roland Garros in Paris, France yesterday.

PARIS, France (AP):

Trailing by a set and two breaks in the French Open quarter-finals, just one game from defeat, Simona Halep was not exactly full of positive thoughts during a changeover before her opponent tried to serve out the victory.

"I said that the match is lost. ... That's it. It's over," the Romanian recalled. "And then I started to feel more relaxed, maybe because I thought it's finished."

Well, it worked. The No. 3-seeded Halep came all the way back to beat No. 5 Elina Svitolina of Ukraine 3-6, 7-6 (6), 6-0 yesterday, saving a match point en route to reaching the semi-finals at Roland Garros for the second time.

Halep, the 2014 runner-up, was down 5-1 in the second set, then was a point from losing while down 6-5 in the tiebreaker, but came up with a backhand winner down the line to extend the match.

She didn't even know how dire things were at that moment. Only later, while checking Twitter, did Halep find out what the score was.

"I was like, '(It) was match point for her?'" Halep said. "I didn't realise during the match."

You had no idea?

"Yeah," Halep confirmed. "Was better, actually."

Today she will face No. 2 Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, a 7-6 (3), 6-4 winner over No. 28 Carolina Garcia of France.

 

HANGING IN BALANCE

 

The No. 1 ranking will hang in the balance: If Pliskova reaches the final, she will replace Angelique Kerber, a first-round loser in Paris, atop the WTA. If Halep can get past Pliskova and then go on to win the title, she'll be the new No. 1.

Other results: Men's quarter-finals - Rafael Nadal def. Pablo Carreno Busta 6-2, 2-0, retired. Dominic Thiem def. Novak Djokovic 7-6 (5), 6-3, 6-0. Stan Wawrinka def. Marin Cilic 6-3, 6-3, 6-1. Andy Murray def. Kei Nishikori 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (0), 6-1.

Women's quarter-finals: Karolina Pliskova def. Caroline Garcia 7-6 (3), 6-4.