Muguruza Socks Sharapova, Lines Up Halep for Thursday Semis at French Open
by Jeremy Davis | June 6th, 2018, 6:58 pm
  • 14 Comments

World No. 1 Simona Halep and former No. 1 and French Open champion Garbine Muguruza lined-up a semifinal at Roland Garros after distinctly different wins on Wednesday.


Halep needed to come back from a set down to defeat former No. 1 and No. 12 seed Angie Kerber 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-2 to reach her third Roland Garros semifinal. In the third set the two exchanged breaks before Halep won four of the final five games after a medical time-out for a foot issue.

Halep pointed to her head after match point, asserting her mental edge over the German.

“It’s always a tough match when I play against her,” said Halep, who improved to 6-4 against Kerber. “It’s always three hours, so I’m always prepared before the match that it’s going to be the same. After the first set I just stayed strong, I didn’t give up at all. I missed a lot at the beginning of the match. She’s always putting the ball back and she doesn’t miss, so I tried to do too much and it didn’t work. Then I changed my tactics a little bit, and it worked very well in the end.”

In the semis Halep will have to face the power of Muguruza, who brutalized Russian and another former No. 1, Maria Sharapova, 6-2, 6-1.

The vaunted Sharapova serve failed her as the Spaniard dominated off service returns, immediately taking control of points and giving the Russian much of the same medicine she had spoon-fed opponents in the past.

“It wasn’t coming natural to me,” said Sharapova, who hasn’t seen much come back since serving a doping offense for a medication given to Russian soldiers before they took to the battlefield. “Didn’t have the rhythm. Gave her too many looks on second serves. She’s a great returner, that’s definitely one of the things that she did really well.”

Both semifinals will take place on Thursday at Roland Garros as Halep deals with the power of Muguruza, and Sloane Stephens takes on Madison Keys in an all-American rematch of last year’s US Open final.


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14 Comments for Muguruza Socks Sharapova, Lines Up Halep for Thursday Semis at French Open

Margot Says:

Fantastic play from Halep and on she goes to the final!


RZ Says:

Yay Simona! So glad she has another chance at a slam. She deserves this.


jalep Says:

Simona was amazing.

When the match started I thought, oh no I can’t watch Simona get waxed by Garbine like Sharapova did. But I kept watching and Simona was incredible that first set. She made Garbine play a lot more ball per point than usual and kept control of the first set like a boss :D 6-1
Toward the end of the second set I got nervous because Garbine’s level went up and thought that she’d probably win in 3 sets. Then boom – Simona breaks Garbine serve to win 6-4 ! That was easier than her match vs Kerber.

Proud of Simona!

One more match to go though now and fingers crossed, please, oh please this time she can get herself a GS!


Margot Says:

jalep: looks as if it will be Sloane and she is so deceptively good. She reminds me of a beautiful elegant cat, moves so speedily and gracefully with apparently no effort and then POW hits those powerful ground strokes with again, apparently no effort.


Anto Says:

Go Simona, go and get that Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.


Willow Says:

Joining in the chorus of approval for Simona, i like Garbine but it would be fantastic to see Simona win a GS, go on girl win the whole damn thing now ….


SG1 Says:

Two very technically solid players in the finals. Another impressive tournament for both Stephens and Halep. If Simona couldn’t take out Ostapenko last year, not sure how she’ll cope with Stephens who has a big powerful game, is playing well and is carrying the confidence of a slam champion.

But, that’s why they play the matches! Would be nice to see Simona pull this out after so many disappointing final results but I’m not holding my breath.


SG1 Says:

In a weird way, I think it would Halep to actually lose the 1st set. She seems to let down when she gets ahead.


jalep Says:

Margot @ 12pm

Exactly how I’d describe Sloane. Cat-like and sneaky – she slipped through her draw when I thought she’s at least lose to Kasatkina. With Serena, Sharapova, and others getting so much attention, Sloane has been easy to overlook. But she’s powerful and speedy. I love her back hand DTL: straight and swift as an arrow. As
SG1 says, not sure how Simona will do. H2H favors Halep but Stephens is a completely different player right now. Sloane had a let-down after winning US Open but she woke up and started winning matches again after Indian Wells and she’s not going to be easy to beat in another GS Final!

Poor Simona better get ready for her best performance yet and Cahill better have a good ideas for how to handle Sloane.


Margot Says:

He came up with an excellent game plan against Garbine, but Sloane is not only very powerful, but also has a lot of variety, which I feel Garbine lacks.
Tennis is so interesting, Garbine smashes Maria and then gets smashed in return. Angie gave Simona more problems in fact and Angie came out of nowhere too, while we were all looking at Plishkova and Kvitova.
Hoping for a competitive 3 setter. Love Sloane but hope Simona gets the monkey off her back.


Willow Says:

The WTA is very competitive, there have been some very interesting matches this FO ….


Willow Says:

Hope we have a competitive final ….


Van_Persie Says:

Simona and Sloane last played in Cincy in 2017.
Sloane is another player now, since she won the UO 2017, but Halep also changed a lot since the UO 2017, after that loss to Sharapova in the 1st round.
Halep is working since then also with Andrei Pavel, who encouraged her to play more agresive, which she now does. Her second serve is also reliable now. Andrei Pavel was hired after UO 2017 and she did manage to get rid of one of her frustrations: the Sharapova complex.
Let’s see if she will get rid of the other complex: No GS title in her account.
Personally I think she will score this time. I am sure she will give her best and will not be like in Rome, where she was only with her win over Sharapova satisfied, her thoughts were at the FO afterwards.


Van_Persie Says:

^^ Simona is also grunting now :D…not like Sharapova, but she gets loud…


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