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The Latest: Stephens reaches her first French Open final

The Latest: Stephens reaches her first French Open final
The Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — The Latest on the French Open (all times local):

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6:15 p.m.

Sloane Stephens has advanced to the French Open final for the first time, beating Madison Keys 6-4, 6-4 in an all-American semifinal on Court Philippe Chatrier.

The 10th-seeded Stephens will bid for her second major title when she takes on top-seeded Simona Halep of Romania in Saturday’s final.

Stephens lost her serve for the first time against Keys when serving for the match at 5-2.

After the 13th-seeded Keys held for 5-4, Stephens served out victory at the second attempt. She won on her first match point with a backhand winner down the line.

The friends hugged at the net, both smiling.

The 25-year-old Stephens won last year’s U.S. Open for her first major, beating Keys in the final.

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5:40 p.m.

Second-seeded pairing Latisha Chan of Taiwan and Ivan Dodig of Croatia have won the French Open mixed doubles title for the first time.

They beat the top-seeded pair Gabriela Dabrowski of Canada and Mate Pavic of Croatia 6-1, 6-7 (5), 10-8, securing their first major title.

Dabrowski and Pavic were eyeing a second straight major after winning the Australian Open mixed doubles in January.

Dabrowski also won the French Open mixed doubles last year, but with Rohan Bopanna of India as her partner.

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5:20 p.m.

Juan Martin del Potro is still trying to figure out which spectator distracted him when he was about to serve.

Del Potro was under pressure to hold at 4-4 in the second set against Marin Cilic during their quarterfinal on Court Suzanne Lenglen. As del Potro served, he was distracted by a noise from the crowd and double-faulted to lose the game.

“It was someone who made a loud noise before my serve,” del Potro said. “That’s why I got angry with someone.”

The imposing Argentine then walked over to the side of the court and began eye-balling a row of spectators. He then moved even closer to them and began verbally confronting a man.

“I couldn’t find the right person,” del Potro said, laughing about the incident. “But I got closer to them, just asking ‘Who was it?’ I’m still trying to find the right person.”

He has no trouble identifying his semifinal opponent: Rafael Nadal.

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4:50 p.m.

Top-ranked Simona Halep will have another shot in the French Open final.

Twice the runner-up in Paris, Halep has qualified for the final by defeating 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza 6-1, 6-4.

Halep converted her first match point when Muguruza sent a final backhand long.

Halep will play Madison Keys or Sloane Stephens in Saturday’s final.

It will be Halep’s second consecutive Grand Slam final after she lost the title match at the Australian Open in January.

“I played again one of my best matches on clay,” Halep said after coming back from a break down in the second set.

Halep is guaranteed to remain the world No. 1 after the tournament.

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4 p.m.

Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina will become the world’s top-ranked doubles pair for the first time, despite each playing with a different partner at the French Open.

When the rankings are published Monday, they will also become only the second and third Russian women to top the rankings, and the first since Anna Kournikova in 1999.

They advanced to their seventh Grand Slam final at the Australian Open in January and won their 12th doubles trophy together at the Madrid Open.

“Ekaterina and I have shared great success as a team, and this moment is what we’ve always dreamed of,” Vesnina said. “We hope to continue our strong form, especially now as the top doubles players.”

They have won three Grand Slam titles together: the French Open in 2013, the U.S. Open in 2014 and Wimbledon last year.

But Makarova and Vesnina did not play together at the French Open this year after changing their entries, despite being close to securing No. 1 status.

Makarova played alongside countrywoman Anna Kalinskaya and Vesnina teamed up with Jelena Ostapenko at Roland Garros.

Both new-look pairings went out in the first round.

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3 p.m.

Juan Martin del Potro has returned to the French Open semifinals for the first time since 2009 by defeating Marin Cilic 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.

Del Potro fought back tears during his post-match interview and was loudly cheered by fans at Court Suzanne Lenglen.

“It’s tough to speak now,” the fifth-seeded Argentine player said. “It has been a long time without good feelings. I had three surgeries on my left wrist. I was close to quit.”

Del Potro will be up against 10-time champion Rafal Nadal for a spot in the final.

“I don’t know if I will win, but I will take a big love from you and that’s the most important for me,” he said.

In 2009, del Potro lost to Roger Federer in the French Open semifinals. He went on to win the U.S. Open the same year by defeating Federer in the final.

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1:45 p.m.

Rafael Nadal is into the French Open semifinals for the 11th time.

The top-ranked Spaniard completed a 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 win over Diego Schwartzman of Argentina over two days after their quarterfinal was halted by rain on Wednesday night.

Nadal was serving at 5-3, 30-15 after having dropped the first set when play was stopped.

He came back on court in full swing and made Schwartzman run a lot with a combination of deep groundstrokes and subtle drop shots. He was also able to raise his level when in danger, saving three break points in the eight game of the third set with great shot-making, and four more in the final set.

Nadal is only the third male player in the Open Era to reach 11 semifinals at a single Grand Slam, alongside Roger Federer and Jimmy Connors.

The 10-time Roland Garros champion will be up against Marin Cilic or Juan Martin del Potro for a spot in the final.

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1:15 p.m.

Juan Martin del Potro has confronted a spectator sitting in Court Suzanne Lenglen after he hit a double-fault to drop his serve at a crucial moment against Marin Cilic.

The double-fault gave Cilic a 5-4 lead in the second set of their quarterfinal.

Immediately after double-faulting, del Potro turned to the spectator and gestured angrily. He then walked to the box and spoke for a few seconds with the spectator, who looked embarrassed.

Del Potro then exchanged a few words with the umpire and returned to his chair, smashing his racket in anger.

Del Potro recovered well, though, breaking back in the next game.

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1 p.m.

Rafael Nadal has taken control of his quarterfinal against Diego Schwartzman, sealing the third set 6-2 to lead by two sets to one.

Nadal won 10 of the first 11 points played in the third set and broke his 11th-seeded rival twice.

Nadal raised his level when it mattered much and fended off three break points in the eighth game. Schwartzman wasted the first one with a shanked backhand and Nadal saved the next one with a superb defensive display, pushing the Argentine player to make a mistake. He canceled the third one with a fine drop shot close to the net.

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12:15 p.m.

Play has resumed in the rain-interrupted men’s quarterfinals at Roland Garros, and 10-time champion Rafael Nadal quickly grabbed the second set of his match against Diego Schwartzman.

Nadal needed only two points to even his match at a set apiece.

He was serving for the second set at 5-3, 30-15 after having dropped the first by a 6-4 score when play was halted by a storm on Wednesday evening.

Also back in action after a suspension was the quarterfinal between past U.S. Open champions Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro.

They were at 5-all in a first-set tiebreaker when their match was stopped. But del Potro grabbed the first two points played on Thursday to take that set 7-6 (5).

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12 p.m.

Rafael Nadal’s bid for an 11th French Open title continues with the resumption of his rain-interrupted quarterfinal against 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman of Argentina.

The No. 1-ranked Nadal will be serving for the second set at 5-3, 30-15 when he and Schwartzman return to Court Philippe Chatrier on Thursday.

Schwartzman took the opening set 6-4, ending Nadal’s streak of 37 consecutive completed sets at Roland Garros before rain arrived on Wednesday.

In the other remaining quarterfinal, also suspended on Wednesday, No. 3 Marin Cilic and No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro will resume at 5-all in a first-set tiebreaker.

The women’s semifinals are also on Thursday’s schedule.

No. 1 Simona Halep faces No. 3 Garbine Muguruza, and No. 10 Sloane Stephens meets No. 13 Madison Keys in the first all-American French Open semifinal since 2002.

Stephens beat Keys in last year’s U.S. Open final.

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More AP tennis coverage: https://www.apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis

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