Tactical change helps Halep reach French Open semis

Too tough Garbine Muguruza celebrates after victory over Maria Sharapova

For Muguruza, the two-time major will rue her missed break point opportunities, converting just two of eight compared to Halep's six of 10.

Halep was my pick to win the French Open, and I truly hope she finally gets the money off her back.

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 knew that she's gonna start the match with a lot of power", Halep, one of the best tacticians on the circuit, told reporters.

Thwarted: Two-time French Open victor Maria Sharapova after her quarter-final loss.

Kerber eventually prevailed in a tiebreak, but Halep came out all guns blazing in the second, firing baseline bullets at her opponent, who tried to cling on against the onslaught. Halep nonetheless rallied and won a thrilling ninth game, one that saw her save three break points with some fearless hitting. "I think everyone would ask me questions, as well", she said.

In short, the market has been convinced that Halep is the better player throughout this event, but yet has ditched her for this particular match-up, and it's hard to understand why.

Halep's win knocked Caroline Wozniacki out of the race to be number one in next week's rankings, and set up a winner-takes-all match against Spain's Muguruza in Thursday's semi-final. 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. "If I do that, I will be OK after the match, no matter the result".

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The 10th-seeded Stephens will bid for her second major title when she takes on Halep.

Ahead of the French Open 2018 clash, the 23-time Grand Slam victor called out the parts related to her in Sharapova's autobiography as "hearsay".

"She did a lot of things better than I did", Sharapova said.

In all, Keys made 41 unforced errors, 30 more than Stephens. When we get on the court, it's time to compete.

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.

Sharapova, 31, was broken in the opening game of the second set which she immediately retrieved. Muguruza, who won the French Open in 2016 but didn't make it out of sectionals a year ago, is continuing a fantastic run of tennis at Roland-Garros.

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