Second set: *Konta 5-7, 5-4 Vondrousova
Vondrousova holds to love. Back to you, Jo …
Second set: Konta 5-7, 5-3 Vondrousova*
Konta is cruising at 40-0 but lets Vondrousova back in. Deuce. Konta gets to advantage with a serve out wide followed by a backhand to the open court, the classic one-two punch. It’s something that’s brought her success today and she could do with doing it more often. Konta comes through from advantage and she leads 5-3. Just as she did in the first set. And we know what happened then …
Barty and Anisimova have decided to stop the craziness. Barty holds at the start of the third before Anisimova duly does the same. It’s 1-1.
Second set: *Konta 5-7, 4-3 Vondrousova
Three consecutive holds. And I’ve just thought: Roger and Rafa are due to start in just over 20 minutes. There’s too much going on! Could they hold them off until these matches are over? Though somehow I don’t think those two will wait for anyone.
The way these two sets have gone, the third could go 16-14 or something crazy. (Or 6-0). Who knows!!
— Simon Cambers (@scambers73) June 7, 2019
Barty wins the second set 6-3!
Huge cheers from the Australian fans on Suzanne Lenglen though, where Barty, having led the first set 5-0, lost it 7-6 and fallen 3-0 behind, has seized the second set 6-3 against Anisimova! They’re going to a decider but who would be crazy enough to predict that one?
Second set: Konta 5-7, 3-1 Vondrousova*
Konta consolidates the break to – it has to be said – rather muted applause. There aren’t many British fans on Court Simonne Mathieu, and the spectators don’t seem to know who to support. It probably doesn’t help that both players are hitting more unforced errors than winners – it’s an edgy match to watch.
And we’ve still got Rafa v Roger and Djokovic v Thiem to come. Phew.
Second set: *Konta 5-7, 2-1 Vondrousova
Chris Evert makes the point on Eurosport that none of these four semi-finalists are playing at their best – perhaps there’s too much at stake as they all seek to reach their first major final – but these are captivating contests. Konta breaks Vondrousova for 2-1. Barty, from 3-0 down, breaks Anisimova for 4-3. The ebbs and flows of tennis, eh?
Second set: Konta 5-7, 1-1 Vondrousova*
Vondrousova holds serve at the start of the second set for her fifth unanswered game. Konta shows character to stop the rot for 1-1, just as Barty also stems the flow, scrapping her way to 3-2 behind against Anisimova. But as things stand we’re on course for an all-teenage final. It would be the first at a slam since a 17-year-old Serena Williams beat an 18-year-old Martina Hingis at the US Open 20 years ago.
These are two wildly entertaining semi-finals. It’s such a shame they’re being played away from Philippe Chatrier, under grey skies and in front of nowhere-near full stands.
Konta loses the first set 7-5 against Vondrousova
Konta has looked so assured tactically during this tournament. In the past you felt she only really had a plan A; now she’s able to think her way through matches more. But she’s in a complete muddle right now. She’s making some strange shot decisions and from 5-4 when she had three set points, her game has unravelled. Vondrousova has a set point at 30-40 on Konta’s serve. And Vondrousova is absolutely clinical with a cool lob.
First set: *Konta 5-6 Vondrousova
It’s raining on Konta, both literally and figuratively, as she is broken while serving for the opening set, just as the first rain drops of the semi-final come down. Konta, you have to say, lost her nerve there, it was an incredibly edgy game. 5-5. The players continue despite the weather. And Vondrousova then holds to edge ahead in this match for the first time.
Anisimova wins the first set 7-6 against Barty
As Konta serves for the first set, Barty and Anisimova’s opening act will be decided by a tie-break. Anisimova has the mini-break and is serving at 5-4 … make that 6-4, two set points. Anisimova needs only one! A quite remarkable effort from 5-0 down.
First set: *Konta 5-4 Vondrousova
Meanwhile Konta is cranking up the pressure over on Simonne Mathieu. Vondrousova holds for 4-3. Konta holds for 5-3. Vondrousova is serving to stay in the set … and Konta has two set points at 15-40. Konta gets overexcited on the first … and then nets with an extremely tight shot on the second! Deuce. Advantage Konta, a third set point. But again, Konta can’t settle the set. From there Vondrousova holds. Konta will need to quickly refocus during the changeover – she’ll know she should be a set up – but at least the set will be on her racket as the server in the next game.
Konta v Vondrousova may have been see-sawing so far, but it’s got nothing on the Barty v Anisimova semi-final, where Anisimova has just won her sixth game on the spin from 5-0 down, meaning she’ll serve for the set at 6-5! The conditions are extremely tricky for the players today – not only is rain threatening but it’s so windy out there – and Barty’s effort catches the wind, blowing Anisimova off course. 30-all. 30-40, break point. Deuce. Advantage Barty, a second break point. Deuce …
First set: Konta 4-2 Vondrousova*
An unenviable task this is for your game-by-gamer, as I frantically flick between the two semi-finals. Just as Barty is broken, Konta breaks Vondrousova straight back to move 3-2 ahead. The British No 1 then backs up the break for 4-2. Having won the first two games, lost the next two games and won the last two games, Konta will be hoping to take charge of this see-sawing first set.
A second hold from Anisimova, and Barty has a second chance to serve out the set at 5-3. A crucial point at 30-all. Will it turn into set point or break point? Break point, when Barty biffs into the net. Her first serve on the break point goes the same way too; she lands the second, before a forehand hit with real depth and purpose brings the error from Anisimova. Deuce. Advantage Anisimova. After misfiring at the start of this match, Anisimova’s missiles – so devastating against Halep yesterday – have found their range. Anisimova breaks and they’re back on serve! Barty leads 5-4.
First set: Konta 2-2 Vondrousova*
On the fifth break point of an attritional fifth game, Konta finally gifts Vondrousova the break with a double fault. Konta, after her flying start, finds herself back on serve.
Meanwhile over on Suzanne Lenglen, Barty is battering Anisimova and is serving for the first set at 5-1 after only 18 minutes, having led 5-0. But Anisimova, having finally got on the board in the previous game, decides she quite fancies helping herself to another game, and breaks Barty to 30. It’s 5-2 Barty.
First set: Konta* 2-1 Vondrousova
Konta cranks up the pressure on Vondrousova by getting to 0-30 on the Czech’s serve. That’s 10 unanswered points for Konta in this semi-final. But Vondrousova suddenly rouses herself into action, and from 0-30 down takes four points on the spin for a dogged hold. She then has Konta under pressure in the next game, 30-40, break point. Konta averts the danger but Vondrousova peels off a winner for a second break point. The Czech clatters into the net. Egalite. Advantage Konta. Egalite. Advantage Vondrousova. Egalite. Advantage Vondrousova. Egalite. Phew …
Barty is going some too. The crafty and clever Australian No 1, who is the highest seed remaining in the women’s draw at No 8 and therefore the slight favourite for the title ahead of Konta, has charged into a 4-0 lead over Anisimova on Suzanne Lenglen. Anisimova, of course, bumped out the defending champion, Simona Halep, yesterday in the biggest win of her career but the 17-year-old is crashing down to earth today.
First set: Konta 2-0 Vondrousova* (*denotes next server)
Konta dropped only one point on serve in the second set of her superb win over Sloane Stephens in the quarter-finals, and she’s continuing as she left off against last year’s runner-up by zipping her way through her first service game, 15-0, 30-0, 40-0, jeu Konta. She’s now won 24 points out of her last 25 on serve.
First set: Konta* 1-0 Vondrousova (*denotes next server)
It will be interesting to see how Konta handles the pressure of being the favourite today. She was the underdog in her two previous slam semis, against Angelique Kerber at the 2016 Australian Open and against Venus Williams at Wimbledon in 2017. She shows few signs of any early nerves here as she races to 0-40 on Vondrousova’s serve – the Czech helping Konta out with two double faults – and Konta then bludgeons a backhand down the line to break in the opening game. That’s some statement of intent.
The Konta v Vondrousova head-to head. They’re tied at one win apiece, though Konta did beat the left-hander only a couple of weeks ago on the red dirt in Rome.
Under gloomy skies, Konta and Vondrousova have stepped on to Simonne Mathieu. You wouldn’t blame Konta for feeling aggrieved at being demoted to Roland Garros’s third show court for one of the biggest matches of her career. But I don’t think she’ll let it bother her at all, she seems so at ease at these championships. Meanwhile Ashleigh Barty and Amanda Anisimova are warming up on Suzanne Lenglen. We’ll be focusing on Konta v Vondrousova, but will update you on the other semi-final too.
So, what of Konta? A year ago the British No 1 turned on the “bastard” British press in an awkward press conference after her first-round exit at the French Open. Seven months ago she ended the 2018 season with only two match wins at the slams. Five weeks ago she started the clay-court season down at 47 in the world, having been ranked as high as four after her run to the Wimbledon semi-finals in 2017. A week and a half ago she’d never even won a match at Roland Garros. But here she is in the semi-finals, as the favourite to beat the exciting young Czech Marketa Vondrousova and become Britain’s first female grand slam finalist in 42 years. It’s fair to say she’s rediscovered her joie de vivre in the French capital.
“I have never doubted myself, but I also have accepted I might never get back to the top 10,” says Konta. “I am proud and happy with how I am rolling and keeping the pressure on. This is my third time in a grand slam semi-final. I’d like to go one and two steps further, though. I will look to use the experience I have [of previous semi-finals, at Wimbledon and Melbourne] to deal with the challenges.”
Friday’s order of play
Court Philippe Chatrier
11.50am BST/12.50pm local time
Roger FEDERER (SUI)  v Rafael NADAL (ESP) 
Novak DJOKOVIC (SRB)  v Dominic THIEM (AUT)
Court Suzanne Lenglen
10am BST/11am local time
Ashleigh Barty (AUS)  v Amanda ANISIMOVA (USA
Elise MERTENS (BEL) and Aryna SABALENKA (BLR)  v Timea BABOS (HUN) and Kristina MLADENOVIC (FRA) 
Court Simonne Mathieu
10am BST/11am local time
Johanna KONTA (GBR)  v Marketa VONDROUSOVA (CZE)
Latisha CHAN (TPE) and Ivan DODIG (CRO) v Gabriela DABROWSKI (CAN) and Mate PAVIC (CRO) 
Not before 11.30am BST/12.30pm local time
Kirsten FLIPKENS (BEL) and Johanna LARSSON (Swe)  v Yingying DUAN (CHN) and Saisai ZHENG (CHN)
There’s been plenty of talk since today’s schedule was released about the men stealing the women’s thunder but the greatest concern for the players may be the rain. Tournament organisers are hoping that by starting both women’s semi-finals early and away from Philippe Chatrier, where only the men will take centre stage – a decision the WTA has called “unfair and inappropriate” – they’ve got the best possible chance of completing the matches. But with the threat of pluie, pluie et plus de pluie there’s the very real chance of a chaotic weekend schedule or even a men’s final on Monday.
It would be a shame if the weather or scheduling controversy detracted from four matches that bring into sharp focus the contrasting state of play in the men’s and women’s games. While the men’s semi-finals feature the top four seeds, the owners of 52 grand slam titles and Rafa v Roger Episode 39, Johanna Konta is the only remaining woman to have even played a major semi before in a field that contains two unseeded teenagers and zero slam finals. The British No 1 will surely never get a better chance to claim one of the game’s biggest prizes at a slam where she’d never won a match before last week. The ancien régime still rules in Paris on the men’s side but a revolution is taking place among the women.
Play begins in both women’s semi-finals (if the weather behaves, which it currently is): at 10am BST/11am Paris time.