Published: Thu, June 07, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

French Open 2018: Garbine Muguruza thrashes Maria Sharapova to reach semi-finals

French Open 2018: Garbine Muguruza thrashes Maria Sharapova to reach semi-finals

Simona Halep went from out-of-sorts to on-target against Angelique Kerber, scrambling to every ball and staying the course to erase an early deficit.

The last time Halep and Kerber met was in the Australian Open semi-finals which went down as a marathon that the Romanian won 9-7 in the decider. I think everything will be normal. Halep saved two match points to win that one.

But it was the German who started the stronger, out-hitting her rival with lethal accuracy, to win the first four games as Halep struggled to find her serving rhythm and peppered the tramlines with unforced errors.

The victor of Thursday's semi-final will also decide the world number one spot which Muguruza held for four weeks past year. "Like I said, you have to just take your opportunities when you get them, and it's just match by match, basically".

Muguruza had lost all three previous times she faced Sharapova, whose five Grand Slam titles include two at Roland Garros.

Sharapova, playing at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015, suffered her most one-sided defeat at the Slams since a 6-3, 6-0 loss to Victoria Azarenka in the 2012 Australian Open final.


"[The match] was really about the mental", Halep said of her win, per Alex MacPhersonof WTATennis.com.

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.

Nadal lost the opener 6-4 against 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman but began to play better after a rain delay of just under an hour. The number that defined it was the top seed's 30 unforced errors, six of which came in the tiebreak.

It was not enough, though, as Wimbledon champion Muguruza bulldozed her way through the rest of the set to secure her place in the semi-finals.

Halep is a three-time Grand Slam runner-up, including in Paris in 2014 and past year; Kerber is a two-time major champ elsewhere; Muguruza won the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017; and Sharapova owns five Grand Slam titles, including at Roland Garros in 2012 and 2014.

"Before, I gave it a lot of importance so that's why you're fighting every week, and I got there". Muguruza essentially got that round off, too: Her opponent, Lesia Tsurenko, retired with an injury after only two games.


Angelique Kerber appeared on her way toward an easy win like Muguruza, going up 4-0 in the first set.

Here's another key category in which Muguruza has the upper hand: 2-0 in major championships. "One day I will make it".

"It's not that important, because it's constantly this thing going on", said Muguruza.

One could not tell on Monday, however, as she kept misfiring against two-time Grand Slam champion Kerber.

By the time Sharapova recovered somewhat to play better it was too late, and Muguruza was into her impressive stride, with the court finally filling up post-lunch.


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