Muguruza defeats Sharapova in straight sets

Muguruza defeats Sharapova in straight sets

Halep was impressive in digging out a three-set victory over Angelique Kerber on Wednesday, but it was the sort of match-up she favours.

Chinese youngsters fared in two directions in junior division, as eighth-seeded Wang Xiyu powered past Maria Lourdes Carle of Argentina in straight sets, while No. 2 seed Wang Xinyu and Zheng Qinwen both crashed out from girls' singles third round.

On Saturday, Sloane Stephens and Simona Halep will compete for the women's title. Now she says it: "'I want to win a Grand Slam'". I didn't give up.

"I think it would be unusual for me not to include someone that I have competed against for so many years", Sharapova said.

"It was very nice to play like that", Halep said. "She's the favourite", said Muguruza.

"I am really happy that I won the match, it was very important for my mind and I gave it all I had".

Both men advanced by winning quarterfinals suspended the night before because of rain. "Serena competitive is not good for the others - but for me it is!"

The pair exchanged breaks at the start of the second set but from 1-1 it was one way traffic.

A Grand Slam win in Paris would bring redemption for Halep, who lost in the 2017 French Open final against Jelena Ostapenko after leading by a set and three games.

But they hadn't played since 2014, back before Muguruza was as confident and successful as she is these days.

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

Asked what she will do to avoid a fourth runners-up cheque she said: "I don't know what I will change".

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Sharapova certainly didn't do that.

She pointed out: "I'm fast, though, no?"

Muguruza relinquished one game.

"It's never easy playing someone from your country, let alone someone you actually care about and you're friends with", Stephens said afterward.

Muguruza pounced on an error-plagued Sharapova start to lead 4-0 with a double break.

"Kind of a weird day", Muguruza said. She will have a fourth shot at a maiden Grand Slam title on Saturday afternoon, with either Sloane Stephens or Madison Keys standing in her way.

Here's another key category in which Muguruza has the upper hand: 2-0 in major championships.

Two-time victor Sharapova, who made her return to Roland Garros after three years, failed to challenge the Spaniard throughout the match, and she easily conceded their first duel in four years. It was her first quarter-final at the majors since Melbourne in 2016 after which she served a 15-month doping ban.

The World No.1 was much-improved under the sunshine on Court Philippe Chatrier after finding life hard in damp conditions the night before, finally seeing off dogged Argentinian Schwartzman on his fourth match point. In the decider, Halep came to the net more often to finish points and opened up a 4-1 lead.

But Halep figured things out. "I didn't take the few points and opportunities I had". Over the last two sets, Halep made 16 unforced errors, half as many as Kerber, who was treated for a blister on her left foot early in the third.

She is also playing arguably the best tennis of her career. "I just try to keep that going". "If I do that, I will be OK after the match, no matter the result".