PARIS — Under mostly cooperative gray skies and in front of small but enthusiastic crowds on Roland Garros’s secondary stadiums, Ashleigh Barty and Marketa Vondrousova booked spots in the French Open final, surviving blustery switches in momentum and winds.
Vondrousova, 19, lost the first 10 points of her match against the 26th-seeded Johanna Konta before steadying herself and finding her range, breaking late in both sets to claim a 7-5, 7-6(2) win. The match was played on Simonne Mathieu Court, a new 5,000-seat stadium that was one of the smallest Grand Slam semifinal venues in decades.
Six minutes later, the eighth-seeded Barty of Australia recovered from a substantial early collapse to finish off her semifinal against the American Amanda Anisimova, winning, 6-7(4), 6-3, 6-3, on Suzanne Lenglen Court.
Anisimova, 17, had trailed by 0-5, 15-40 in the first set before suddenly surging, reeling off 16 straight points that left Barty, 23, staring down a set and 0-3 deficit midway through the second set.
Told by the on-court interviewer that she would remember the match forever, Barty expressed the residual whiplash she still felt from the wild swings in control.
“Both good and bad memories,” Barty said. “That was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.”
An ominous weather forecast and presold tickets for two men’s semifinals sessions on the tournament’s primary stadium, Philippe Chatrier Court, left the women’s semifinalists to play at times and places rarely used to showcase such major matches.
The match between Konta and Vondrousova started with around 1,500 people watching, an audience that would not be large for a first-round match at Roland Garros, much less a semifinal.
Though she had a 2-5 record at Roland Garros before this year, Barty will go into Saturday’s final as a favorite against the unseeded, 38th-ranked Vondrousova, a left-hander from the Czech Republic. Barty won their two previous matches, on grass in Birmingham, England, in 2017, and on hardcourts in Cincinnati last year.