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Bacsinszky into semi-finals

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Originally published on 06/06/17 00:00

“It was really difficult because we had all the seasons rolled into one today,” said Bacsinszky, who also reached the last four in 2015. “We had a sand storm, a hurricane and we almost had snow too. It was really tough to keep my concentration all day long. I feel exhausted, but I’m really happy and proud. For many years, big things have happened for me at Roland Garros. I’m really happy to be through to my second semi-final here. I feel really privileged.”

Two years ago, the Swiss No.30 seed faced eventual champion Serena Williams in the semi-finals, taking the first set against the 23-time Grand Slam champion. On Thursday she faces Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko – a teenager today, but turning 20 on the day of the semi-final, the same day Bacsinszky turns 28.

“Yeah, it's pretty funny,” Bacsinszky said of the birthday quirk. “I think it's pretty cool, though. I saw her in the gym just right after our matches today, and so we both said, like, mutually to each other, 'well done'. We hugged each other, because, I mean, she's a really nice girl. We’ve practised quite a few times together, too. I was happy for her that she was in the semi-final as well.

“And that we are sharing the same birthday – lucky her, she's way younger than I am! But maybe lucky me, experience-wise.”

Having never won a match at Roland Garros before this year’s tournament, Ostapenko has been a revelation – though Bacsinszky knows her game better than most, having watched her operate both on court and off.

“She's feisty. She's funny. She's young. I was impressed by her character. I'm no longer feisty. I'm eight years older than her, even though at the French Open I'm in a fighting mood. She has great timing; she hits the ball very well.

"I don't think that she's apprehensive. It was the same thing when we played doubles together. I think that she's not apprehensive at all. Last year she played in Doha against Carla Suarez Navarro. I followed the match and I thought, ‘Is she nervous or does she feel pressure?’ Maybe she drinks pressure. I don't know.

“Great credit to her. She has a very big serve. She's a complete player. I know it won't be a bed of roses.”

 

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