1 with Garbine Muguruza

Jun 08, 2018, 07:13
1 with Garbine Muguruza

Halep emphatically ended the impressive French Open run of 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza with a 6-1, 6-4 victory in the semi-finals.

Three times Simona Halep has experienced the heartbreak of losing a Grand Slam final but on Saturday she will get another crack at breaking her duck at the majors.

On Wednesday, Halep looked anything but the top seed, slipping 4-0 down in the first set before she rallied to defeat Kerber, a two-time major victor who had exited in the first round in Paris in the last two years.

Halep spent an hour longer on court than Muguruza in their respective quarter-finals on Wednesday, needing three sets to beat German 12th seed Angelique Kerber.

Keys slipped two breaks down in the second but although she pulled one back Stephens served out for the match.

All three were tight, three-set defeats, none more painful than her slow fade against the inexperienced Ostapenko in Paris a year ago, where she led, 6-4, 3-0, with a point to go up, 4-0, before Ostapenko rallied to take the trophy instead.

It was 5-0 by the time Muguruza eventually claimed a game. She'll have yet another chance to fill the gaping void in her resume by winning her first Grand Slam.

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

Sharapova might prefer to be described as a veteran rather than an antique, but the analytics that matter to her have nothing to do with birthday candles at this point. It would be very odd, I think, if I didn't write anything about her.

Halep's fourth chance to win her first Grand Slam title will come against reigning U.S. Open champion Stephens on Saturday. "It's a nice opportunity, a big challenge, so I have just to feel happy after the match that I gave everything". Muguruza has yet to drop a set this tournament and is forcing many unforced errors from her opponent due to being aggressive and hitting the ball deep. The Russian won only five of 26 second-serve points in the face of Muguruza's elegant 6-2, 6-1 stampede. "Just one of those days where I think she played incredibly well".

"I think she just wasn't healthy", he said.

And in a rip-roaring second set, Muguruza ratcheted up the intensity and broke in the third game, but a determined Halep pegged it back at 4-4.

A comeback never appeared likely and, though Stephens was unable to serve out the match at 5-2 after Keys gifted her a double break, she did so at the second attempt with a precise backhand down the line.

"I think she's right now probably the best player", Muguruza said.

The American pair have contrasting styles, with Stephens' game based on her athleticism and ability to get many balls back, while also turning defence into offence fairly quickly.

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