Simona Halep beats Muguruza at French Open to reach 4th Slam final

GETTYSerena Williams has withdrawn from the French Open
GETTYSerena Williams has withdrawn from the French Open

08 June, 2018

Top seed Simona Halep fought back to triumph in a bruising French Open quarter-final against Germany's Angelique Kerber and stand two wins away from her first Grand Slam title.

Halep was runner-up for a second time at Roland Garros past year and lost the Australian Open final in January, but will have another opportunity to claim a maiden grand slam title on Saturday.

"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. Halep is 3-2 in career grand slam semifinal matches.

"I feel calm. I feel that I have to enjoy it today, the victory, because it was a great match. I think everyone would ask me questions, as well", she said. Of her first 14 points, 13 arrived via errors by Muguruza - nine unforced, four forced. Halep has been beaten in all of her previous major final appearances, including at Roland Garros a year ago by Jelena Ostapenko.

It will be Halep's second consecutive Grand Slam final.

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

Suffice to say that the 26-year old would be well advised to click into gear properly from the start in the semi-finals because Muguruza has been looking in fantastic shape throughout the entire fortnight in Paris - even if her results leading up to Paris, such as her first-round loss to Daria Gavrilova in Rome, haven't been confidence inspiring.

"When you're facing somebody that also has an aggressive style of game", Muguruza said about facing Sharapova, "I think it's about who takes the command, who takes the first opportunity". Muguruza essentially got that round off, too: Her opponent, Lesia Tsurenko, quit with an injury after only two games. Muguruza, the 2016 French Open champion, was world number one for four weeks from September 11 to October 8 previous year.

She further proved her credentials with a dominant, yet gutsy, win over 2016 champion Muguruza, who failed to hold serve in the first set.

"And now it's just - it's good to be able to play all the time for that, but every week there is a new chance, there is a new thing".

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