Barbora Krejcikova wins despite ‘brutal’ umpire error

Barbora Krejcikova scripted a stunning win despite an umpire error towards the end

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Barbora Krejcikova scripted a stunning win despite an umpire error towards the end

Barbora Krejcikova kept her cool to overcome a massive error by the chair umpire on match point to prevail 7-5, 4-6, 9-7 over Maria Sakkari in the French Open semi-final.

Krejcikova saved a match point at 5-3 in the third set with a flying backhand winner.

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She then then needed five match points spanning two games before quelling the challenge from the Greek player in three hours and 18 minutes.

“I always wanted to play a match like this, when I was younger, playing juniors, I always wanted to play such a challenging match where we both had chances and were playing so well,” said Krejcikova.

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“Even if I lost today I would be very proud of myself because I was fighting. That is the most important thing, in here and in our own life.”

Krejcikova was almost denied victory in the thrilling encounter by an umpire error. The 25-year-old brought up a fourth match point on Sakkari’s serve at 8-7.

A forehand from the Greek was called long, but the chair umpire dramatically overruled — even as TV replays showed the ball to be out.

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Rather than dwell on her apparent hard luck, Krejcikova brought up a fifth match point and converted it with a backhand winner down the line to end one of the longest women’s matches of the season in style.

French finale

The Czech is now on an 11-match winning streak and has made it to the final in only her fifth Grand Slam singles main-draw appearance.

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She will take on Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the French Open final on Saturday.

Pavlyuchenkova held off Tamara Zidansek 7-5, 6-3 in one hour and 34 minutes to make her first Grand Slam final after 51 major main-draw appearances.

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The previous record was held by Roberta Vinci, who was the 2015 US Open runner-up in her 44th main draw.

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