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French OpenTennis

Master of defence Halep downs Pliskova to reach Paris final

Romania's Simona Halep celebrates winning her semi final match against Czech Republic's Karolina

Romanian Simona Halep showed the full extent of her defensive skills to beat Karolina Pliskova 6-4 3-6 6-3 and reach her second French Open final on Thursday.

The third seed, who will become world number one if she defeats Latvia’s Jelena Ostapenko in Saturday’s showdown, benefited from her opponent’s unforced errors in the first set before Pliskova rediscovered her touch.

Overwhelmed by Pliskova’s power in the second set, Halep regained the momentum in the decider, frustrating her second-seeded opponent with her ability to soak up punishment.

She ended the contest on her first match point with an unreturnable serve to reach her second Roland Garros final after losing the first one to Maria Sharapova in 2014.

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