French Open PIX: Zidansek battles past Badosa to reach semis

Images from Day 10 of the 2021 French Open at Roland Garros in Paris on Tuesday.

Unseeded Tamara Zidansek became the first Slovenian woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final as she beat Spain’s Paula Badosa 7-5, 4-6, 8-6 in a gripping French Open battle on Tuesday.

A match between two Grand Slam quarter-final debutants was full of momentum shifts with world number 85 Zidansek leading by a set and 4-2 before the big-hitting Badosa, ranked 35, stormed back to reel off six games in succession.

Badosa, who was on a nine-match winning streak on clay, looked the favourite to win the decider when she led 2-0.

But former competitive snowboarder Zidansek stopped the rot just in time, then showed real grit at 6-6 when she emerged from a pivotal game having saved three break points.

Zidansek produced two forehand winners to fend off the first two and then on the third she got lucky when her shot took a horrible bounce to deceive Badosa.

Both players struggled to cope with their nerves at various points during the match but it was Badosa who crumbled in the final game, serving a double fault and falling 15-40 behind.

Zidansek wasted the first match point but nailed another forehand to end the contest with a 48th winner.

She will face the winner of the Tuesday’s second quarter-final between Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina, who knocked out Serena Williams in the fourth round, and experienced Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

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