Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Muguruza slams Sharapova; Halep survives

Muguruza Halep set up French Open semifinal Nadal in limbo Muguruza slams Sharapova; Halep survives
Shannon Reynolds | 08 June, 2018, 21:15

Paris: Spain's Garbine Muguruza thrashed Maria Sharapova to reach the French Open semifinals on Wednesday as a second top-of-the-bill showdown in three days failed to materialse at Roland Garros. "After the first set I just stayed strong and didn't give up", Halep told the Court Suzanne Lenglen crowd in a post-match interview. In men's play, 10-time champion Rafael Nadal faces 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman and No. 3 Marin Cilic is up against No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro in a matchup between two former U.S. Open champions.

Muguruza, by contrast, started with a swagger, a rasping forehand giving her a second break before Sharapova went 4-0 down when she put a tame attempted drop shot into the net.

"And I think we played many matches".

The Spaniard leads 5-3 in the second set after recovering from a break down before a second rain delay proved decisive.

"Sharapova, back on the Paris clay after a two-year absence, admitted she had been outplayed but was pleased with her overall performance at the year's second major".

Top-ranked Simona Halep has leveled at one set-all in her French Open quarterfinal against Angelique Kerber of Germany. Muguruza won the French Open in 2016, then Wimbledon past year. She led Jelena Ostapenko by a set and 3-0 in last year's final at Roland Garros.

After making 30 unforced errors in the first set, which she lost 7-6 (2), Halep finally found the right rhythm to dictate points with deep groundstrokes and aggressive returns. I just want to play as I did today, and as I did every day.

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By the end of the first set, the five-time major victor had won just eight points against the Muguruza serve and failed to carve out a single break point.

Sharapova was hardly at her best right from the start, double-faulting three times to get broken in the opening game. She can ascend to the No. 1 world ranking if she claims the title this weekend. She ended up with six double-faults and 27 total unforced errors, 12 more than Muguruza.

Sharapova didn't need to play a point in the fourth round, because Serena Williams pulled out of their much-anticipated match with an injured chest muscle. No. 3 Marin Cilic and No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro are even at 5-all in the opening-set tiebreaker.

37 - The number of consecutive sets won by Nadal at the French Open until that series was stopped by Schwartzman.

Muguruza hit only five winners in the opener which was more than enough against the erratic Russian, who reached the quarter-finals for the first time in three years when old rival Serena Williams handed her an injury-enforced walkover.

MARIA Sharapova has been forced to defend aspects of her autobiography as the Russian comes to term with shattering French Open defeat. That includes the French Open in 2014 and 2017, and the Australian Open in January. Halep saved two match points to win that one.

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