PARIS, France - Czech teenager Marketa Vondrousova advanced to her first career Grand Slam semifinal with a victory over No.31 seed Petra Martic, 7-6(1), 7-5, at the French Open on Tuesday.
In just her ninth Grand Slam main draw appearance, Vondrousova needed exactly two hours to book a spot in her first career major semifinal at the expense of the Croatian upset artist, who took out No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova earlier in the fortnight and was also looking to advance to reach the final four of a Grand Slam for the first time.
In a match which fully showcased the variety of the two players, both players displayed why they were two of the most in-form women on tour in the leadup to Paris, and the Czech turned around a winless, 0-4 head-to-head against her veteran foe.
"I'm just really happy with my game. It was a very tough match for me. I beat her for my first time in my life, so it's amazing," Vondrousova said.
"[To reach a Grand Slam semifinal], it's not happening every day, right?"
Though she was the first to break in the fifth game of the opening set, rhe 19-year-old trailed 5-3 in before breaking Martic to stay in contention, but her greatest escape in a thrilling opener came on serve in the 12th game.
She trailed 0-40 in it, with the Croat holding three set points, before hitting three winners off the ground and a feathery drop shot to force her way into a tiebreak.
"I wasn't thinking, like, I'm down three set points. I just tried to focus on my game and play it point by point. It was great," she said.
"I just wanted to play more aggressive. Because she's a great player and you have to play aggressive to win the point. I think that was the key in the first set.
"It's very good I beat her in this tournament. I mean, I was waiting for this to happen, like, five matches, so it's great it happened here."
She dominated the affair from there, winning the last five points to take a one-set lead, but it was her turn to hold off a comeback effort from Martic in the second set.
Vondrousova needed four match points to seal victory, with the first coming on return at 5-2, and two more coming in her service game at 5-3.
"I was close, and I had 5-2 and match point. I think she played some amazing points," the Czech said.
"I was trying to play my game and stay focused on every point. I'm just happy I did it.
Vondrousova is just the fourth lefty to advance to the quarterfinals or better at Roland Garros this decade, joining Angelique Kerber and compatriots Lucie Safarova and Petra Kvitova.
"She played incredible, I think. She definitely deserves to be in the semifinals. Her whole season shows it, and today was just yet another match, yeah, that proved it," Martic said in defeat.
"I really fought as hard as I could. I think from the first match here until the last points today I really, yeah, I left it all. From that point of view, I'm really proud of myself and proud of this tournament.
"Of course with her, to be in the quarterfinals, and to lose so close, I felt like I had a chance, but today it wasn't meant to be on my side."
She will look to join Safarova as a French Open finalist against No.26 seed Johanna Konta, in a rematch of a three-set quarterfinal from a fortnight ago at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome.
"I played with her twice. I won one time and I lost in Rome," she said. "She has great form and it's going to be tough match, but we'll see.
"In semifinals, I think anything can happen. I think it's going to be very tough and great match, and I just can't wait to play."