Tennis: Safarova marches into French Open semis

Tennis: Safarova marches into French Open semis
Above: Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic

PARIS – Lucie Safarova and her firecracker forehand proved a potent weapon at the French Open on Tuesday as the Czech bulldozed her way into the semi-finals with a 7-6 (3) 6-3 win over Spain’s Garbine Muguruza.

A day after knocking out 2014 champion Maria Sharapova, the 13th seed weathered the gusting winds swirling through Court Suzanne Lenglen and the powerful groundstrokes of her opponent to reach the last four in Paris for the first time.

A blazing backhand crosscourt winner from Safarova ended a high-quality first set and she wrapped up victory with a breathtaking backhand down the line winner.

Safarova, bidding to become the first left-hander to win the claycourt major since Monica Seles in 1992, will face 2008 champion Ana Ivanovic for a place in Saturday’s final.

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