Garbine Muguruza beats Maria Sharapova to reach the French Open semis
Garbine Muguruza beats Maria Sharapova to reach the French Open semis
French Open 2018: Simona Halep vs Angelique Kerber - live score updates
07 June, 2018, 14:39
"I have actually been told quite often that I'll never win or do well because I'm too nice of a person and I just don't have it", Keys said. "So I think that's why I won today", she told the media.
"It was really about the mental", Halep said.
When the top-seeded Halep and No 3 Muguruza meet Thursday, their contrasting styles will match up with plenty at stake.
Former number one Muguruza takes on current incumbent Halep on Thursday with the victor to be assured of the top ranking as well as a place in the Roland Garros final.
"I have just to stay strong, to try to make her uncomfortable on court", Halep said, "and to try to play my game".
Keys appears to have made more progress in her clay game than any of her semifinal peers, perhaps because she's had the most room to grow.
That might very well have been a relief to 10-time champion Rafael Nadal, who was not at his best and dropped a French Open set for the first time since 2015.
During the changeover after the set, a trainer came out to tape both of left-handed Nadal's wrists.
In the other men's quarterfinal, No 3 Marin Cilic and No 5 Juan Martin del Potro were at 5-5 in a first-set tiebreaker when the matchup of past US Open champions was stopped.
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. Stephens won that one, as well as the only other match the longtime friends, Fed Cup and Olympic teammates have played against each other.
By the end of the first set, the 5-time major victor had won just 8 points against the Muguruza serve and failed to carve out a single break point.
Halep is still chasing her first Grand Slam title after several near-misses.
"I think she did a lot of things better than I did". Last year, he took the trophy without dropping a set.
Sharapova certainly didn't do that. Halep managed to win despite 46 unforced errors and being broken four times. She reacted well to limit her mistakes while staying aggressive on her German opponent's service games. Like, before, I gave it a lot of importance so that's why you're fighting every week, and I got there.
"When you're writing an autobiography, I don't think there is any reason to write anything that's not true", said Sharapova after being knocked out of Roland Garros by Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-1 in the quarter-finals.
Sharapova's eagerly-awaited fourth-round clash with Serena Williams never even made it on court on Monday as her American nemesis pulled out an hour before the scheduled start with a pectoral injury.
Muguruza advanced in the fourth round when Lesia Tsurenko retired after just two games, but her recent run has still been impressive with only five lost games in her last three rounds, including a 6-0, 6-2 win over Samantha Stosur in Round 3.
"Kind of a weird day", Muguruza said.
Simona Halep is two wins away from earning her first Grand Slam title. She was prior to the draw and it took a gift draw for Elina Svitolina - which the Ukrainian was unable to exploit - for her to lose this status for the opening two rounds.
Halep, meanwhile, has participated in a trio of major finals, losing each. It was yet another example of just how commanding the 24-year-old former French Open champion can be when she's keeping self-doubt at bay. Halep is 3-2 in career grand slam semifinal matches. Her return has been flawless most of this tournament and if Halep is going to make a high number of unforced errors again, she stands no chance.
But Halep figured things out. The last time the two were scheduled to play was in Qatar in February, but Halep was forced to retire.
"No expectations, no pressure", Halep said as she looked ahead to the semifinals, perhaps trying to persuade herself as much as anyone.
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