Defending champion and top seed Serena Williams was on the ropes for much of her quarterfinal encounter with Yulia putintseva, but the American found a way to outgut the inspired young Kazakh, 5-7, 6-4, 6-1, to reach the last four at the French open.
Undaunted, the American appeared on course to quickly level the contest when she recovered from an early break to race out to a 4-1 lead in the second, but Putintseva dug deep to earn two break points in the ninth game, which would have given her the chance to serve for a spot in the semifinals.
"I just kept hitting balls out," Serena told press, assessing her performance. "I just wasn't firing the way I wanted to. I definitely knew I needed to do something different if I was going to stay in the tournament