}

Snapshots: Barbora Krejcikova def. Maria Sakkari, French Open semifinals

Coming Into Her Own

Ranked seventh in doubles, Barbora Krejcikova has experienced a singles breakout over the last 30 days on clay. After pushing defending French Open champion Iga Swiatek to a 7-5 third set in a Rome defeat, the 25-year-old Czech won the Strasbourg title—and rode her momentum all the way to the semifinals at Roland Garros. She took the first set against another surprise semifinalist, Maria Sakkari, 7-5.

The Greek's Two Weeks?

Sakkari has been equally as impressive at Roland Garros, and specifically on Thursday. She leveled the match with a 6-4 second set, and took a 5-3 lead in the decider, when she earned a match point.

Pressure Player

Krejcikova was at her best when it mattered most. She saved the match point with a swinging backhand volley, and would break Sakkari with some all-court craft that included a well-placed moonball.

Czech the Mark (on Hawk-Eye)

Krejcikova and Sakkari would trade bold groundstrokes and gutsy holds—with a few tight points along the way, understandable in this moment—all the way to 8-7. Sakkari, using her emotion and the crowd on Chatrier, would save three match points. It appeared that she wouldn't save a fourth when Krejcikova celebrated an "out" call, but the chair umpire overruled after checking the mark. The incorrect mark, as it turned out, according to a Hawk-Eye replay. But the replay technology is not used at Roland Garros.

Justice is Served

To Krejcikova's credit, she shook off the missed call, and a fourth Sakkari match point save, before converting her fifth with a debate-free winner. This contest of first-time major semifinalists was a treat, and it was hopefully just the first of many meetings deep in tournaments.

On Saturday, Krejcikova will face fellow first-time singles Slam finalist Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova for the title.