Czech Barbora Krejcikova digs deep to book place in French Open final

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Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova celebrates winning her semi final match against Greece’s Maria Sakkari. Image Credit: REUTERS

Dubai: In an epic encounter lasting over three hours, Czech Barbora Krejcikova eventually saw off Greece’s Maria Sakkari 7-5 4-6 9-7 to set up a final clash against Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Saturday.

Long hailed as a doubles specialist having won two Grand Slam titles in doubles with Katerina Siniakova – the French Open and Wimbledon in 2018 – she now advances to her first Grand Slam final.

Tense third set

Sakkari – who ended defending French Open champion Iga Swiatek’s 11-match winning streak at Roland Garros in the quarterfinals – was wild-eyed, winning one moment and self-destructing the next. During the tense third set, the smart money was on Krejcikova who could sense Sakkari was frustrated. She was happy to bide her time in an increasingly long rallies.

The 17th seed Greek was also left frustrated with a fan repeatedly shouting out at her midway through the crucial second set. “Someone is screaming at me!” she protested to the umpire as she failed to hold her nerve.