PARIS, France - The semifinals are set at Roland Garros, and while one is a birthday bash between Timea Bacsinszky and Jelena Ostapenko, another could determine something greater as No.2 seed Karolina Pliskova finds herself one win away from becoming World No.1.
Pliskova's 7-6(3), 6-4 win over No.28 seed and last remaining Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia not only put the Czech powerhouse into her second Grand Slam semifinal out of the last three, but it also put her on the precipice of usurping Angelique Kerber for top spot on the WTA Rankings.
This isn't the first time Pliskova has the prime mover when it comes to ranking intrigue; she famously prevented Kerber from ascending to No.1 by beating the German at the Western & Southern Open. Two weeks later, her win over then-No.1 Serena Williams opened the door for Kerber's accession at the US Open.
The World No.3 had her first shot of beoming World No.1 at the Mutua Madrid Open, but fell in the second round to an in-form Anastasija Sevastova.
Asked about the No.1 ranking, Pliskova has this to say on Wednesday:
Halep leads Pliskova 4-1 in their overall head-to-head and the Romanian has a chance to reach No.1 herself. Should she reach her first Grand Slam final since the 2014 French Open, Halep will have to win the title to wrest the No.1 ranking from Kerber.
In summary: Should neither Pliskova reach the final nor Halep win the title, Kerber will remain No.1 on next week's rankings.
The women's semifinals take place on Thursday, with Halep and Pliskova facing third on Chatrier following the Bacsinszky/Ostapenko semifinal, which begins not before 3PM local time.