Czech Barbora Krejcikova was outside the top 100 a year ago, but on Thursday, she made it past Maria Sakkari in three sets of 7-5 4-6 9-7, to book her first Grand Slam final appearance where she will come up against another grand slam final debutant in 31st-ranked Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Saturday.
Krejcikova, ranked 33rd in the singles and also a former doubles world number one, won 7-5 4-6 9-7 with her fifth match point – after saving one herself – in a dramatic match lasting over three hours.
Krejcikova said “I always wanted to play a match like this.”
“When I was younger and I was playing juniors, I always wanted to play such a challenging match where we both had chances and were playing so well – and only one can win.
“Even if I lost today, I would be very proud of myself because I was fighting. That is the most important thing, to fight, in here and in our own life.”
Pavlyuchenkova continued her late bloom at the French Open to also reach her first grand slam final, beating Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek 7-5 6-3 on the Paris clay.
Pavlyuchenkova was a dominant junior player but had never reached a Grand Slam semi-final.