Thursday, June 8, 2017

Halep through to the French final

After yesterday's heroic comeback, it didn't seem fair that Simona Halep had to come back the next day and play the 2nd-seeded Karolina Plíšková -- who could have been somewhat motivated by the fact that winning the semifinal match would have not only put her in the French Open fnal, it would have made her the number one women's singles player in the world.

But after a tough 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win, including a break that let Plíšková get back on serve 4-3 in the third set after she had been ahead 4-1, Halep can now have her sights on the number one ranking and her first Grand Slam title.  If she wins, she gets both.

Her unlikely opponent is young and unseeded Jelena Ostapenko.  Now, I hearken back a few years to Wimbledon, when a young and unseeded and somewhat exciting Kiwi (New Zealand) named Chris Lewis made it to the final -- against world number one at the time, John McEnroe.  The result wasn't pretty for Lewis, as he went down in three straight 6-2 sets.  (Lewis was good enough to have a decent 12-year career with three tournament wins.  But he was no McEnroe.)

There's always a chance that lightning can strike and an unseeded novice can beat a seasoned pro.  But Halep has been tested by fire in this tournament, and after the hairsbreadth win over Svitolina, and the tough three-set semi, it's hard to see how she would come into the final flat and unmotivated, and somehow be daunted by the precocious Ostapenko.  Plus, she has been in one Grand Slam final before, and that experience should help calm any nerves she might have.  I'm not going to predict the score, but I am going to take a chance and predict a Halep win for the title in straight sets.

I guess I should pay attention to the men, but's hard to see how Nadal will lose, even though Thiem is an up-and-comer.  On the other side, Murray vs. Wawrinka, I just have a feeling the revivified Wawrinka will find a way.  Then I think Nadal senses history and will win his 10th French Open.

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