It's all true: Sharapova hits back at Serena claim

Angelique Kerber

Angelique Kerber

Simona Halep fought back from a set down against two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber to book her spot in the semi-finals of the French Open and set up a shootout with Garbine Muguruza for the world No. 1 spot.

The Romanian's mentality has often been questioned, but she showed her mental strength and remains on course to win her first Grand Slam.

Two-time major victor Kerber raced into a 4-0 lead in the first set before having to rely on a tiebreak to nudge her ahead.

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.

"And I think we played many matches".

"I have just to stay strong, to try to make her uncomfortable on court and to try to play my game", Halep said. "I missed a lot at the beginning of the match".

"I think I did a good performance today, a very serious, solid match".

Current world number one Halep made the semi-finals for the 3rd time by battling past Germany's Angelique Kerber 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 6-2.

Muguruza's big strokes overwhelmed Maria Sharapova right from the start and their quarter-final was no contest at all in a 6-2, 6-1 one-way journey.

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The second quarter-final between Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro is also finely balanced with the players tied at 5-5 in the tiebreak in the opening set.

Top seed Nadal, chasing an 11th title in Paris, dropped the first set 6-4 to his Argentine opponent, the first time he lost a set at the tournament since 2015.

Sharapova, however, had little to shout out about yesterday as she was unceremoniously dumped out at Roland Garros in the quarter-finals with a straight sets defeat to Garbine Muguruza, who wrapped up the victory inside 70 minutes.

But by the third set Halep had broken the German's defenses - and her resolve - as she banged in 76 percent of her first serves, with only half the unforced errors of her opponent. Sharapova was the French Open champion in 2012 and 2014; Muguruza took the trophy in 2016.

Muguruza leads Halep 3-1 head-to-head, but this is their first grand slam match-up.

Williams withdrew shortly before the match with a pectoral muscle injury, a moment Sharapova said she found briefly startling but not destabilizing.

The top seed is a two-time runner-up at Roland Garros but was forced to dig deep against the German, who is enjoying a fine recovery year after a hard 2017, as Kerber stormed into the lead.

"No expectations, no pressure", Halep said as she looked ahead to the semifinals, perhaps trying to persuade herself as much as anyone.

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