Maria Sharapova hits back at Serena Williams in book row
08 June, 2018, 17:14 | Author: Malcolm Quinn
Romanian tennis star Simona Halep, the current number one in the WTA ranking of the best women's tennis players in the world, reached the final of the French Open at Roland Garros for the third time in her career after a two-set victory over Spain's Garbine Muguruza on Thursday afternoon. After Halep's 6-1, 6-4 win, Muguruza said: "Her shots were very, very deep and very aggressive, constantly".
"I think I worked really hard coming back and getting in the gym, and when I was chubby trying to get skinny and when I was out of shape getting back in shape", she said after seeing off close friend Madison Keys in the semi-finals on Thursday.
Halep has lost three previous Grand Slam finals, including two at Roland Garros in 2014 and 2017.
Halep took her place in a second consecutive Grand Slam final after losing in the final of the Australian Open in January to Caroline Wozniacki and fourth final at the majors overall. Muguruza won the French Open in 2016, then Wimbledon a year ago.
Simona Halep leads the head-to-head 5-2 against Sloane Stephens, including 2-0 on clay and 2-0 within the past year; all of their matches have been decided in straight sets.
But it took Muguruza quite a while to get going against Halep, who managed to keep sending ball after ball back over the net. "I have more experience now".
Muguruza's last stand came at 4-all in the second set, a 13-minute game in which she held three break points. "Every day I play better and that makes me happy". "My head won it".
And it was Sharapova who looked the rustier, with two limp service games handing Muguruza an immediate 4-0 lead and consequently the first set.
"I think it would be odd for me not to include someone that I have competed against for so many years", said the 31-year-old. But she failed to convert any of those, and Halep held there, before breaking at love to end it. "She's never forgiven me for it".
"She started playing very well immediately and I wasn't able to reach the level that she was playing at".
In fact, her next match win after the US Open did not come until Acapulco in February.
"I think there is a lot of autobiographies out in the world, especially in the sporting world, that don't necessarily speak about whether they were rivals or someone they competed against".
"And I have two more days until I will play the final". In the second set, it was more equal.
In the other men's quarter-final, number three Marin Cilic and number five Juan Martin del Potro were at 5-all in a first-set tie breaker when the match-up of past US Open champions was stopped.
Halep is still chasing her first Grand Slam title. In the first set, Halep had 30 unforced errors. She's a great player and it's always tough against her. It was an emphatic performance for Muguruza, who made it to the fourth round of the US Open last year and just the second round of the Australian Open earlier this year.
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The other match, featuring Angelique Kerber and Simona Halep, went to a third after the Romanian had a scrappy start. Rafael Nadal was locked in an epic battle on Philippe-Chatrier before the rain ended play early on Wednesday night.
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