Simona Halep feels she is fortunate to still be at Roland Garros — but the French Open favourite is now just two wins away from her first Grand Slam triumph.
Simona, runner-up to Maria Sharapova in 2014, seemed to be on her way out when a set and 5-1 down to Ukrainian Elina Svitolina.
Yet the 25-year-old third seed came back from the brink, securing five successive games and saving a match point to emerge a 3-6, 7-6, 6-0 winner.
‘I don’t know how I came back,’ said world No 4 Simona Halep. ‘She was playing tough, hard and strong. Maybe I was a little lucky, but I didn’t give up.’
She will play Czech Karolina Pliskova, the world No 3 and second seed, who won 7-6, 6-4 against France’s final hope in Caroline Garcia.
Pliskova, 25, will replace Angelique Kerber as the world No 1 if she can see off Halep and make Saturday’s final.
The second semi-final is between birthday girls Timea Bacsinszky, who turns 28 today, and unseeded Jelena Ostapenko, who will be 20.
None of the four women left in this year’s French Open have won a Grand Slam title.
Meanwhile, it was a mixed day for the Brits at the Aegon Surbiton Trophy in Surrey as the grass court season got into full swing.
Heather Watson won 7-6, 6-1 in the first round of the Wimbledon warm-up against Russia’s Alla Kudryavtseva, while Stockport’s Naomi Broady beat fellow Brit Tara Moore 6-2, 6-3.
Laura Robson — another candidate for a Wimbledon wild card — lost 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 to New Zealand’s Marina Erakovic as the 23-year-old suffered a setback in her comeback from a serious wrist injury.