French Open day 12: Maria Sharapova shows love to Barbora Krejcikova and a silver lining for French tennis

Barbora Krejcikova celebrates

Barbora Krejcikova prevailed in a semi-final of huge drama against Maria Sakkari to reach her first Grand Slam final at the French Open.

The unseeded Czech, who had to save a match point in a 7-5, 4-6, 9-7 victory, will take on another first-time finalist in Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, a 7-5, 6-3 winner over Tamara Zidansek.

Britain’s Joe Salisbury collected his first Grand Slam mixed doubles title as he and American Desirae Krawczyk beat Russians Elena Vesnina and Aslan Karatsev.

Picture of the day

Maria Sakkari roaring

Maria Sakkari roars during her epic defeat by Barbora Krejcikova (Christophe Ena/AP)

Tweet of the day

Silver lining for French tennis

A historically bad French Open for the home nation in the main draws, with no French players reaching the third round, is picking up considerably. Pierre-Hugues Herbert and Nicolas Mahut are through to the men’s doubles final while all four of the semi-finalists in the boys’ singles are French.

No Whites blues for Salisbury

Desirae Krawczyk and Joe Salisbury win French Open mixed doubles

Joe Salisbury, right, and Desirae Krawczyk hold the mixed doubles trophy aloft (Christophe Ena/AP)

Salisbury’s surprise triumph came a month after his football team, Fulham, were relegated from the Premier League. So did one ease the pain of the other? “I’m a bit of a fair-weather fan, so when they’re doing well I’m up for it, but when they’re not, I brush it off pretty easily,” he said a little sheepishly.

Albert Hall returns

Things are slowly getting back to normal in the tennis calendar and November will once again see former greats heading to the Royal Albert Hall for Champions Tennis. Goran Ivanisevic, Greg Rusedski and Tomas Berdych are among the players who have signed up and tickets are now on sale.

Who’s up next?

The latest episode of the epic tennis saga that is Novak Djokovic’s rivalry with Rafael Nadal takes place in the men’s semi-finals.

The pair will clash for a 58th time, while the other semi-final pits two leaders of the younger generation against each other in Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev.

Krejcikova will attempt to reach another final in the women’s doubles with countrywoman Katerina Siniakova. The pair take on Pole Magda Linette and America Bernarda Pera in the last four.

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