No pressure, no expectations as Halep eyes fourth Slam final

Jun 07, 2018, 05:24
No pressure, no expectations as Halep eyes fourth Slam final

The world number one will face 2016 Roland Garros champion Garbine Muguruza after the Spanish woman overwhelmed Maria Sharapova 6-2 6-1 in the day's other quarter-final.

Halep went from out-of-sorts to on-target against Kerber, scrambling to every ball and staying the course to erase an early deficit. Halep pointed her right index finger at her temple when she eventually completed a 6-7 (2) 6-3 6-2 comeback to reach the semifinals, too.

"So I give less importance to that". I think my shots were a lot more forced.

Now third in the WTA leaderboard behind Halep and Caroline Wozniacki, Muguruza will rise above them both to sit atop of the rankings with a win on Thursday.

"I mean, it's not that important, because it's constantly this thing going on, you know. since a year ago", she said after a crushing 6-2, 6-1 last-eight victory over Maria Sharapova in Paris.

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The No. 3-seeded Muguruza had lost all three previous meetings against Sharapova, who won two of her five Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros. The victor earns a berth in the final at Roland Garros, plus the number one ranking that now belongs to Halep.

But it was the German who started the stronger, out-hitting her rival with lethal accuracy, to win the first four games as Halep struggled to find her serving rhythm and peppered the tramlines with unforced errors. Muguruza won 58 percent of her return points and broke six times in her quarterfinal victory.

Rafael Nadal has dropped a set at the French Open for the first time since 2015. "But, yeah, I think she made everyone wait a little bit".

Sharapova and Williams were due to clash in the fourth round on Monday but the American pulled out at the last minute of their eagerly-awaited grudge match with injury.

Garbine Muguruza charged ominously into the French Open semifinals with a masterful thrashing of Maria Sharapova.

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Nadal lost the opener 6-4 against 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman but began to play better after a rain delay of just under an hour.

Halep is aware she can not afford another poor start on Thursday against 24-year-old Muguruza who has been tested just once in Paris and that was in the first round where fellow former victor Svetlana Kuznetsova pushed her to a tiebreak in the first set.

Kerber is a two-time Grand Slam champion.

The second quarter-final between Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro is also finely balanced with the players tied at 5-5 in the tiebreak in the opening set. Muguruza, the 2016 French Open champion, was world number one for four weeks from September 11 to October 8 a year ago.

"I was up against a great player so I had make sure I brought my best tennis". Some of those matches were very defining for me.

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She missed several chances to go 4-1 ahead but she remained able to built the points more convincingly.