Muguruza thrashes Sharapova to reach French Open semi-finals

07 June, 2018, 02:00 | Author: Anita Tucker
  • French Open 2018: Simona Halep vs Angelique Kerber - live score updates

"My head won it".

Russia's Maria Sharapova in action during her quarter-final match against Spain's Garbine Muguruza at the 2018 French Open in Paris June 6, 2018. "But, yeah, I think she made everyone wait a little bit".

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. She broke again in the eighth game to seal the match.

Muguruza is yet to drop a set in the tournament but she is expecting a tougher test against last year's runner-up Halep on Thursday. The No. 11 seed hit 20 winners in the first set, while Nadal managed just four, per Courtney Nguyen at WTA Insider.

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Halep is still chasing her first Grand Slam title. Muguruza won the French Open in 2016, then Wimbledon a year ago.

Nadal was broken three times and lost the opening set of his quarterfinal Wednesday against 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman of Argentina by a score of 6-4.

Though Kerber, sensing a pendulum swing, cut her passive play out and began to construct her most aggressive points of the match, Halep would be able to protect that advantage throughout the set. Muguruza has won seven of her last nine matches on clay court. That includes the French Open in 2014 and 2017, and the Australian Open in January. It would be very unusual, I think, if I didn't write anything about her. "She had a lot more depth in the ball".

"I think it would be unusual for me not to include someone that I have competed against for so many years", said the 31-year-old.

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Kerber would become only the second German woman to reach the last four in Paris since Steffi Graf won back in 1999.

The signs were ominous when the five-times Grand Slam champion coughed up three nervy double-faults in the opening game.

Serve and return worked much more efficiently while Kerber struggled to maintain the usual range from the baseline Nonetheless, Halep's overall level of play had been in the ascendancy for most of that set's second half - and, continuing to take control from the baseline, she immediately took her first lead of the match with a break in the second set.

"When you play and you win against an old-time player with a lot of experience, it gives you a lot of trust", said Muguruza, who at 24 is seven years Sharapova's junior. "The score doesn't really matter". Muguruza essentially got that round off, too: Her opponent, Lesia Tsurenko, retired with an injury after only two games. ". Coming into this part of the year, I was losing a few first-round matches, matches that I wanted to be winning, of course. Today was certainly not one of those steps".

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Kerber is a two-time Grand Slam champion. Only a loss to Dominika Cibulkova in the 2009 quarterfinals here, in which she won only two games, was worse.

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