Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Sports | By Ivan Ross

Muguruza thrashes Sharapova to reach semi-finals

Muguruza thrashes Sharapova to reach semi-finals

It was just her 5th loss in 25 Grand Slam quarter-finals. As she told the press after her quarterfinal win, "There were times when I had to go back and hit a higher ball, where maybe before I would have tried to hit a line-drive victor". I think everything will be normal. "My head won it".

Garbine Muguruza overwhelmed Maria Sharapova 6-2, 6-1 in a matchup of past French Open champions to reach the semifinals.

Halep won their only meeting on clay, and she's playing well enough to lead the tournament in break points won (32) as well as first serves returned in play (111). Like Sharapova, Halep was erratic early, making 30 unforced errors in the first set.

"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.

"Before, I gave it a lot of importance so that's why you're fighting every week, and I got there". I tried to do too much. But, I mean, I think she made everyone wait a little bit'.

An imperious Muguruza made only 15 unforced errors to Sharapova's 27 and broke six times to set up a showdown with Simona Halep, knowing a victory would put her on top of the world rankings. Halep increased her level in the second set and gained confidence thanks to an immediate break. Halep hopes to make her fourth career grand slam final and her third career French Open final.

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The Romanian is chasing a first Grand Slam title having lost the final of this event a year ago to Jelena Ostapenko.

The 24-year-old Garcia's face was in the front page of L'Equipe on Monday, quoting her as saying her goal was to "win a Grand Slam", and she did not change her statement after her 6-2 6-3 defeat on Court Suzanne Lenglen. She's more patient now, and knows better how to pick her spots.

If the whole of Roland Garros was deflated by Williams' non-appearance then it appeared that may have been the case with the Russian, who started very sluggishly.

She is one of two semi-finalists - alongside Garbine Muguruza - who are yet to drop a set this fortnight in Paris. Sharapova wrote in her autobiography.

Kerber, bidding to become the second German woman to reach the last four here, after Andrea Petkovic, since Steffi Graf in 1999, was visibly ailing because of blisters in the deciding set and the medical time out after three games didn't help her to solve the issue. Muguruza won the French Open in 2016, then Wimbledon a year ago.

With that said, Muguruza deserves a lot of credit for her performance, including with her serve.

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"I think for me it's been being smart about it", Keys 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. It would be very odd, I think, if I didn't write anything about her.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the last woman to win the French Open without dropping a set was Justine Henin, who did so in back-to-back years in 2006 and 2007. "And then when we get on the court, it's time to compete". Muguruza sensed weakness and pounced for a 4-0 lead.

It wasn't an easy win till Kerber needed a medical timeout in the third set.

"I was focusing on winning every point, every game", Muguruza said.

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.

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"In the past few years, I used to take this into account, and I shouldn't have taken it so much to heart".

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