Sharapova hits back at Serena after French Open mauling

Against Muguruza, there is the risk of her getting blown off the court by her opponent's power - see last year's final against the feraless and relentlessly aggressive Jelena Ostapenko.

This is the first all-American French Open semi-final since 2002, when Serena Williams defeated Jennifer Capriati en route to the title. Sharapova suffered one of her abject losses at the Slams since her 6-3 6-0 battering at the hands of Victoria Azarenka in the 2012 Australian Open final. "Looking at Madrid, Rome, I think that's always one of the toughest back-to-backs on the calendar, especially on a surface like clay".

The 24-year-old Muguruza holds a 3-1 record over Halep, with the victor of the last-four clash to face either Sloane Stephens or her fellow American Madison Keys in the final.

Half an hour later 1-0 had become 6-1 and the challenge of Muguruza, who would have taken over at the top of the rankings with a victory, appeared to be fading fast. Also I pushed her back. She won on her first match point with a backhand victor down the line.

World number one Simona Halep is two wins away from her maiden grand slam singles title after defeating Angelique Kerber at the French Open to set up a semi-final against Garbine Muguruza.




"She started playing very well immediately, and I wasn't able to reach the level that she was playing", she said. 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.

"I mean, it's not that important, because it's constantly this thing going on, you know. since past year", she said after a crushing 6-2, 6-1 last-eight victory over Maria Sharapova in Paris. "If I do that, I will be OK after the match, no matter the result". "I obviously lost to Sloane at the US Open, but, you know, I feel like on clay it's a little bit of a different match-up".

"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". "I've had issues with the right pectoral muscle to the point where I can't serve", said the 36-year-old after withdrawing from the match. "I just went and searched for her in the training room", Stephens laughed in her press conference following her quarter-finals.

"I have just to stay strong, to try to make her uncomfortable on court and to try to play my game", Halep said.

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