Unspoken Czech Barbora Krejcikova caused a remarkable upheaval by beating No. 17 Maria Sakari 7-5, 4-6, 9-7 in the semifinal match of the French Open to reach her first Grand Slam final on Thursday.
Barbora saved a match point at 5-3 in the third set and continued to win the titanic battle for three hours and 18 minutes.
Barbora will play for the first time the finalist of the 31st Grand Slam tournament, Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who beat world No. 85 Tamara Zidanshek of Slovenia 7-5, 6-3 in one hour and 34 minutes in an earlier semifinal match.
In a winning streak of 11 games, Barbora needed five game points in two games. She duly subdued the challenge from the Greek player and improved to 3-0 in their headache.
Earlier, 29-year-old Anastasia became the first woman to play in more than 50 major tournaments before reaching the finals after making her Grand Slam debut as a 15-year-old at Wilbledon in 2007.
Italian Roberta Vinci, who was runner-up at the 2015 US Open in her 44th main draw, held the previous record.
This tournament is the 52nd time that Anastasia has made the main draw for a Grand Slam event.
Anastasia will meet the winner of the second semifinal, which will be played between Maria Sakari of Greece and the Czech Republic Barbora Krejcikova.
Anastasia is the first Russian to qualify for a Grand Slam final since 2015, when Maria Sharapova reached the round of the Australian Open, where she lost to Serena Williams of the United States.
The victory took Anastasia to her 21st final in her career. Her last participation in the final was in 2019 in Moscow. Her first entry into the final was in Monterey in 2010, where she defeated Slovakia’s Daniela Hantuchova to win the title.
If Anastasia wins, it will be her first title since winning the Strasbourg tournament in 2018. In total, she has won 12 career titles.
Anastasia was the rival of No. 3 Arina Sabalenka, No. 15 Victoria Azarenka and No. 21 Elena Rybakina in her earlier matches. And now she is the “senior” professional left in the competition.
Anastasia’s ranking is the 13th in the world, achieved in July 2011. She reached the quarterfinals in six specialties.
Tamara, on the other hand, is the first toy from Slovenia to reach the last four stages of the Grand Slam.