Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza set up semi-final; Nadal in limbo

Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza set up semi-final; Nadal in limbo

Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza set up semi-final; Nadal in limbo

Williams had described Sharapova's book "Unstoppable", in which the Russian claimed the American hated her for beating her in the 2004 Wimbledon final and reducing her to "guttural sobs" as "100 percent hearsay".

Coming from a player whose mental strength has often been questioned, the gesture spoke volume. She's a great opponent, a great player. "My head won it". "My head won it".

She produced a dominant display today, though, breaking 2016 champion Muguruza in every one of her service games in the first set before withstanding a mini fightback in the second.

She played magnificently and powerfully to see off the challenge of Garbine Muguruza in the semi-finals, and is a natural on clay. Moving sluggishly and playing dozily, Muguruza managed a single game in the first set, which she finished with a tally of just two clean winners and 14 unforced errors. "(It) shows me that I have enough patience, I have enough power inside to stay calm", Halep said. "A lot of emotions, like 'am I ever going to be the same?"

"The most important thing is that I have taken those opportunities".

"Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don't know why they ask every week, every week, every week, every day".

Sloane Stephens may be the underdog, but she is more than capable of denying Halep once more.

On Thursday, it was more of the same as the 25-year-old capitalised on her friend's big match nerves.

In the other women's quarterfinal, No. 1 Simona Halep takes on former No. 1 Angelique Kerber in a rematch of their epic Australian Open semifinal in January. That match lasted a total of 35 games, marking the longest women's semifinal at the Australian Open in the Open era. "And I am very motivated out there too - it was a Grand Slam quarter-final".

Romania's Halep has lost all three of her previous Grand Slam finals, including at the French Open in 2014 and 2017.

Maria Sharapova has landed the latest blow in her war of words with Serena Williams - despite the fact she was recently dumped out of the French Open.

That - more than her world No.1 ranking or the experience of having played three major finals, finishing on the wrong side of the scoreline not necessarily to better players - should weigh in her favour in Saturday's French Open title clash, where she's pitted against the reigning US Open champion Sloane Stephens, the queen of cool.

-Tennis Channel Plus features up to 10 courts of live action from Roland Garros beginning Sunday, May 27 at 5:00am ET.

After simply being swept aside in the US Open final back in September, Keys was looking much stronger here, with the younger of the two Americans looking confident when serving despite that wobble in the third game. "She's hitting the ball". Her return has been flawless most of this tournament and if Halep is going to make a high number of unforced errors again, she stands no chance.

Rafael Nadal has won 37 completed sets in a row at the French Open heading into his quarterfinal against Diego Schwartzman.

Sharapova was hardly at her best right from the start, double-faulting three times to get broken in the opening game.

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