Maria Sharapova hits back at Serena Williams in book row

08 June, 2018, 02:22 | Author: Anita Tucker
  • Maria Sharapova and Garbine Muguruza

She is 0-3 in major finals so far, losing to Maria Sharapova in the 2014 French Open final, to unseeded Jelena Ostapenko in last year's French Open final and to Caroline Wozniacki in this year's Australian Open final.

She further proved her credentials with a dominant, yet gutsy, win over 2016 champion Muguruza, who failed to hold serve in the first set. "I think there are a lot of good things like the way my body has handled the long matches that I have played, the back-to-backs".

Against Kerber, Halep stumbled out of the gate, dropping the first set in a tiebreaker. Halep nonetheless rallied and won a thrilling ninth game, one that saw her save three break points with some fearless hitting. She was in Chicago with coach Kamau Murray, working her way back from a foot injury that required surgery and sidelined her for 11 months.

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"I think I played one of my best matches on clay against a great opponent", added Halep, who will be appearing in her fourth final at the majors having also been beaten in Australia in January.

In Thursday's other semi-final, US Open champion Sloane Stephens will take on fellow American and close friend Madison Keys who she beat 6-3, 6-0 in the final in NY last September. "If I do that, I will be okay after the match, no matter the result".

Keys made it to the semis with a straight-sets win over Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva while reigning US Open champion Stephens eased past Russia's Daria Kasatkina.

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Like Halep, Stephens is an incredibly talented defensive player, and she kept stretching points Thursday until Keys would err. Serena Williams is a three-time French Open champion, Jennifer Capriati won in 2001, and the legendary Chris Evert retired with a 94.5% winning record on clay, triumphing seven times at Roland Garros.

"When you're facing somebody that also has an aggressive style of game I think it's about who takes the command, who takes the first opportunity", Muguruza said. The Romanian broke for a 1-0 lead at the start of the second and finished that set in the same fashion to level the match. When we get on the court, it's time to compete.

Sharapova, who missed the 2016 tournament because of a doping ban and previous year after she was refused a wild card, was broken 6 times, committed 27 unforced errors and won just 5 points on her own serve in the second set.

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