Slovenian battles reach French Open semis


AFP, Paris

Unseeded Tamara Zidansek became the first Slovenian woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final as she beat Spain's Paula Badosa 7-5 4-6 8-6 in a gripping French Open battle on Tuesday.

A match between two Grand Slam quarter-final debutants was full of momentum shifts, but it was world No. 85 Zidansek who handled the occasion better to claim victory.

Her previous two main draw appearances at Roland Garros had resulted in first-round losses, but having beaten former U.S. open champion Bianca Andreescu in the opening round she has gone from strength to strength on the red dirt.

"Of course it was a great opportunity for the both of us to get into the semi-finals," she said. "But I guess I managed to keep my composure today a little bit better than her.

"But still, it was a tough battle in the end."

Zidansek will play experienced Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in Thursday's semi-final.

The two others women's quarter-finals, featuring defending champion IgaSwiatek against Maria Sakkari and American teenager Coco Gauff against BarboraKrejcikova, take place on Wednesday.

After initially being out-hit by Badosa and dropping her opening two service games, the 23-year-old Zidansek settled down and began to dictate with her accurate forehand.

Badosa saved a set point at 5-6 with a thumping forehand but then netted an attempted drop shot to lose the opening set.

Zidansek then led 4-2 in the second set but the big-hitting Badosa, ranked 35, began to unleash her baseline weapons and reeled off six games in a row to seize command.