10 Things To Know at Roland Garros: Thursday

Today’s Trivia Question: Who’s the last woman to win a Grand Slam title when Serena wasn’t No.1?

1. It’s Women’s Semifinals Day! The French Open women’s semifinals will both take Court Philippe Chatrier today, starting not before 3pm. First up is Bacsinszky-Ostapenko followed by Pliskova-Halep.

2. The first semifinal pits the World No.31 against the World No.47. It was supposed to be the World No.1, Kerber, against the World No.5 and defending champion, Muguruza, but they lost earlier than expected and so we’ve got the No.31-ranked Bacsinszky against the No.47-ranked Ostapenko.

3. Someone’s getting 530,000 euros for their birthday. Bacsinszky and Ostapenko have birthdays today - Bacsinszky turns 28, Ostapenko 20 - and they’ve both earned 530,000 euros for getting to the semis. A finalist is guaranteed 1,060,000 euros - so it’s an extra 530,000 euros for whoever wins today.

4. Ostapenko’s the first Latvian woman to reach a Grand Slam semifinal. That includes Latvian women who played for USSR. Before this, Ostapenko had never been past the third round of a major.

5. This isn’t Bacsinszky’s first time at the rodeo. Bacsinszky’s first Grand Slam semifinal came here two years ago. She was up a set and a break on Serena, 6-4 3-2, before Serena reeled off 10 games in a row to win, 4-6 6-3 6-0. Bacsinszky was just three games away from her first major final.

6. The second semifinal has major implications for the No.1 ranking. If Pliskova beats Halep, she’s No.1. If Halep beats Pliskova AND wins the title, she’s No.1. Anything else, Kerber stays No.1.

7. Both Pliskova and Halep will pass Serena on the rankings. Whether they end up No.1, No.2 or No.3, Pliskova and Halep’s results in Paris are guaranteed to push Serena down to No.4 on Monday.

8. Halep dominates Pliskova in their head-to-head. Halep is 4-1 against Pliskova, with all four of her wins coming in straight sets (and Pliskova having to come from a set down to get her only win).

9. Serena won her first French Open title 15 years ago today. On June 8, 2002, Serena beat Venus to win the first of her three French Opens, which was also the first leg of her first Serena Slam.

Other notable anniversaries today are Guga’s first French Open title on June 8, 1997, and a bunch of other birthdays - Lindsay Davenport, Nadia Petrova and Kim Clijsters. Happy Birthday to all of them!

10. Tomorrow is Men’s Semifinals Day. Murray-Wawrinka and Nadal-Thiem take the court Thursday.

Yesterday’s Trivia Answer: The only two three-namers to beat Nadal at a major are Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Younes El Aynaoui.

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