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Summary

  1. Serena beats Bacsinszky 4-6 6-3 6-0
  2. Williams looked unwell for long periods
  3. Safarova beats Ivanovic 7-5 7-5 in 1st semi
  4. Safarova into first Grand Slam final

Live Reporting

By Jonathan Jurejko and Mike Henson

All times stated are UK

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So Saturday's final will be Serena Williams v Lucie Safarova.

Safarova will have to overturn a 8-0 losing record against Williams if she is to lay her mitts on her first Grand Slam title. But with Williams in such unpredictably out of sorts form you never know.

See you here for that and possibly the small matter of the men's semi-finals tomorrow. Ciao for now.

The drama was in the detail, but let's have a look at the stats behind that see-sawing merry-go-round of a match.

Williams-Bacsinszky

Aces: 8-4

First serve %: 57-70

Double faults: 0-3

% pts won on first serve: 78-60

% pts won on second serve: 47-30

Winners: 37-26

Unforced errors: 30-24

The television cameras follows Serena Wiliams back into the bowels of Philippe Chatrier, capturing her reunion with coach and partner Patrick Mouratoglou.

Williams is too shattered to lift her arms to hug the Frenchman. She looks out on her feet. As she has for the whole of the match.

Mouratoglou points the way to somewhere out of shot - possibly the medicine cabinet.

Williams through to final

Williams 4-6 6-3 6-0 Bacsinszky

Piers Newbery

BBC Sport at Roland Garros

"It was Williams who began the match close to tears, it's Bacsinszky who leaves the court in floods. She had looked on course for a first major final but Williams somehow managed to hit back from a set down for the fourth time this tournament - the first time she has done that at a Grand Slam. Coach Patrick Mouratoglou gives her a hug backstage and then guides her gingerly down the stairs away from the cameras."

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Rebecca: Serena is a genius. Her antics have kept the crowd sympathetic to her. Otherwise they would have been cheering for the Swiss player.

Anuj, Harrow: All the Serena critics should show some more respect. This is the greatest female player of all time! Why would she need to fake an illness to gain an advantage?

Martin H, Coventry: Suspect that Serena will be picking up the trophy on Saturday in Paris and an Oscar in Hollywood later in the year.

Serena Williams: "I don't know how I did it. If I was going to lose, I didn't want to lose without a fight. I just tried to find some energy form somewhere. I hope I will get better before Saturday. I am ill."

Williams through to final

Williams 4-6 6-3 6-0 Bacsinszky

Williams and Bacsinszky after the match
Getty Images

Well, that was a hard day at the office.

One extraordinary cross-court pass, from well out wide and a split legged sliding stance, was the sort of thing that Williams would be proud of at full fitness.

She sways and staggers to her chair after getting some sincere and sporting congratulations from Timea Bacsinszky.

Bacsinszky is strugging to hold back tears. So is Williams. Not a dry eye on the court.

Williams breaks

*Williams 4-6 6-3 5-0 Bacsinszky

Serena Williams reacts after a shot
EPA

Timea Bacsinszky has come off the boil certainly, but Serena Williams is just slinging pure power off either wing.

She crashes away a forehand on the first of two break points at 15-40.

Off she slopes towards the changeover chair. Twenty-seven minutes on the clock for this set and a lot of that has been taken up by Williams's go-slow between points.

Williams 4-6 6-3 4-0 Bacsinszky*

Serena Williams
EPA

Heaving shoulders, hacking cough and Serena Williams is still ill.

Simon Briggs diagnoses bronchitis from the BBC Radio 5 live sports extra commentary box. But the form and prospects are looking increasing perky.

The American holds to 15 and a hotel room bed and honey and lemon drink might not be far off.

Simon Briggs

Daily Telegraph tennis correspondent on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"Lucie Safarova will be happy with what she's seeing at the moment. She's got a wounded animal on one side of the net and a psychologically-damaged player on the other."

Piers Newbery

BBC Sport at Roland Garros

"The momentum might have shifted dramatically on court but there's not much change off it, with Williams taking on the biggest ice towel of the day and leaning her head in her hand during the two-minute break. Bacsinszky looks unperturbed as she takes on water, perhaps resigned to the inevitable?"

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Rose, Oxford: What a surprise. Back she comes. I feel sorry for who ever she plays. Not very sportsmenlike.

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Curtis: Bacsinszky's forehand is pretty much non-existent, no wonder Serena is peppering it now, easy third set for Serena.

Ayo Obit: Problem is Timea is primarily a counter-puncher and Serena, even a half-fit Serena, does NOT lose to counter-punchers!

Williams breaks

*Williams 4-6 6-3 3-0 Bacsinszky

Timea Bacsinszky in action
EPA

Curtains? I fear it might be.

Timea Bacsinszky skirts around a couple of break points as Serena Williams plops long on the backhand.

But she plummets a double-break behind on a third as he strays beyond the baseline.

Williams 4-6 6-3 2-0 Bacsinszky*

Serena Williams hammers away a backhand punch and hollers to the skies as she backs up the break.

You could say that Timea Bacsinszky had her chances at 15-40. But are they really chances when you get two serves fizzed around your lugholes on both break points?

Williams's coach Patrick Mouratoglou is earning his corn today. He is out of his seat, clenching teeth, fist and anything else he has got in celebration. He'll give himself a hernia doing that.

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Jaime, Huntingdon: Personally I suspect Serena enjoys the added attention she gets when she wins while being "unwell". All too common I'm afraid. Perhaps being so dominant makes such self-indulgence possible.

Serena Williams
AP

Williams breaks

*Williams 4-6 6-3 1-0 Bacsinszky

That is kamikaze tennis from Timea Bacsinszky.

From 30-0 down, Serena Williams lands a whopping roundhouse inside-out forehand on return to move to 30-30.

No need for panic. Plenty of margin for error.

But Bacsinszky loses her composure quite dramatically, cracking two inviting mid-court dollies, bouncing high and gentle for her to put away, outside the lines.

Williams with a freebie of a break.

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John Head, London: Serena is always most vicious when up against it. Memories of Australian Open quarter-final (2010) with Azarenka coming to the fore. She was 6-4 4-0 down in that one, I'd imagine this is not cause for concern to her.

Serena Williams in 2010
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Williams 4-6 6-3 Bacsinszky*

Out they come for the third...

Serena Williams is still not raising her pace above octogenarian levels if there is not a live tennis ball to chase.

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RieruM: If there's one thing I've learned from Roland Garros 2015, is that if Serena loses the first set it doesn't mean much!

Michael S: Serena to make a miraculous recovery and win the third set 6-0?

Williams wins the second set

Williams 4-6 6-3 Bacsinszky*

Serena Williams racks up two set points at 40-15.

Timea Bacsinszky shoots them down.

But Williams rolls out the heavy artillery, booming down a bazooka ace to set up a third that proves the charm. Into a decider.

Serena with the momentum or Timea without the illness? Let's find out.

Williams breaks

*Williams 4-6 5-3 Bacsinszky

Coach Patrick Mouratoglou leads the cheer squad as Serena Williams sniffs blood, advances and slaps away the forehand drive volley at break point and 30-40.

Timea Bacsinszky is being pulled out of shape by the top seed's power when the rallies are allowed to develop.

She doesn't seem able to destabilise Williams, or force her into lateral movement, as she did in the first set.

Timea Bacsinszky
Getty Images

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David Jack: People making ludicrous claims that Williams is faking her illness. Yeah, cos that's a brilliant tactic isn't it.

PS: Sick of Williams' antics which have been fairly consistent last few years.

Serena Williams during the break
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Simon Briggs

Daily Telegraph tennis correspondent on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"Tactically it is quite a dilemma for Bacsinszky. It is always an awkward scenario when your opponent is struggling. The dilemma is that you try to work them around the court, get them running and losing more energy, but then you can lose your own game."

Williams 4-6 4-3 Bacsinszky*

Serena Williams may only be operating in second gear, but she is red-lining it all the way in the shots that he does hit.

Successive crackerjack aces down the middle seal the game and save the American from having to expend any more energy then she has to.

She is ahead on the scoreboard again. A crucial time in the match now. The last thing that Bacsinszky should do is give her opponent the tonic of a break.

Serena Williams
EPA

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Nick Powell: Can't tell if Serena is faking or not, I suspect not, but how many times have we seen her in this state before dominating.

Williams breaks

*Williams 4-6 3-3 Bacsinszky

Deary me.

Timea Bacsinszky has been all-out attack so far in the match and it has served her well.

But the purple patch fades slightly as the Swiss boshes down the line and out to allow Serena Williams to 15-40 and two break points.

She converts the first as Bacsinszky fails to crowbar a backhand off the dust.

Timea Bacsinszky
Getty Images

Piers Newbery

BBC Sport at Roland Garros

"While Bacsinszky holds up a deflated ball to the umpire at the changeover, her opponent is looking similarly beaten on the opposite chair. Williams cannot sit up straight and is coughing and spluttering, looking tearful once again."

Just in reply to Philip in the tweet below, I don't think that anyone thinks that Serena Williams is faking an illness.

It is just the way she seems to be coping with it is to act out every cough, splutter and ache in triplicate.

There is more swooning and swaying at the changeover.

Serena Williams
Getty Images

Bacsinszky breaks

Williams 4-6 2-3 Bacsinszky*

Timea Bacsinszky is all over the Serena Williams serve like a an angry rash.

Two break points have already disappeared down the swanny, when the Swiss breaks out a drop-shot return winner to Serena Williams' rocket. Extraordinary.

Williams sees off another two break points but finally at the sixth time of asking, Bacsinszky has the break as Williams cuffs a backhand wide.

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Philip Farrell: Come on guys, two text messages implying Serena is faking it seems a bit harsh. She doesn't look well.

Serena Williams
AP

*Williams 4-6 2-2 Bacsinszky

One forehand error and three off the backhand seal Serena Williams's demise to love.

Plenty of pop in Timea Bacsinszky's groundstrokes to force those mistakes, but it looks like Williams has suffered a set-back.

There has been more twists and turns in her performance - and dare I say it hammy acting - than a Brazilian telenovela.

Williams 4-6 2-1 Bacsinszky*

Maybe there was a swig of WD40 amid all the isotonic.

Serena Williams looks like she is moving a little more freely suddenly, Her foot movement is busier, her forehand arm is swinging easier and she holds her serve with relative ease.

Have we started the upturn of the Williams U-turn in this match?

Serena Williams
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Chris, London: Amazing how Serena can look like she will collapse in between points and yet still the ball as hard as always during the point.

Simon Briggs

Daily Telegraph tennis correspondent on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

"Serena is making a lot of hand gestures - 'all is against me,' she says. 'Even the gods are smiling on my opponent.' It would be an amazing comeback from Serena considering all the spluttering and almost fainting she is doing. Assuming she is not exaggerating her illness, it would be remarkable to get out of this position."

Serena Williams
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*Williams 4-6 1-1 Bacsinszky

Serena Williams looks exasperated as a Timea Bacsinszky forehand snags the wire looping up, over her shoulder and in to seal the game for the Swiss.

I think that Williams is playing this match to an internal soundtrack of sobbing violins. Everything is against her.

If and when she stops feeling sorry for herself and starts to fight back against whatever is afflicting her, she has a chance.

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John, London: Granted, Serena Williams doesn't look well - but seems like she's employing the old tactic of 'Laying it on thick' - cue miraculous recovery.

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Mark Johncock: I may be cynical but what are the odds of Serena suddenly feeling better if she manages to get ahead in second set?