Sharapova hits back at Serena in book row

Too tough Garbine Muguruza celebrates after victory over Maria Sharapova

Despite being the number one seed, the Romanian Halep has yet to win a Grand Slam title having also lost this year's Australian Open final to Caroline Wozniacki in January.

The Spanish third seed thrashed Sharapova 6-2, 6-1 in the quarter-finals, condemning the Russian to her worst Grand Slam defeat in more than six years.

The No. 1 ranking, which Halep first secured late last season, is now deeply secondary to her goal of winning her first Grand Slam title. Some nerves might have surfaced when Stephens tried to serve out the semifinal at 5-2, but she succeeded at the second time of asking.

The Romanian underlined that pedigree with a straight-sets scorching of Spaniard Muguruza-who is herself a daunting figure on clay.

After dropping her first set at the tournament, the 2016 victor Muguruza fared better in the second, while failing to stop the in-form Halep towards her third final appearance at Grand Slam tournaments.

Muguruza's last stand came at 4-all in the second set, a 13-minute game in which she held three break points.

Both Halep and Stephens are renowned counter-punchers. But she fell apart and eventually lost to the unseeded Latvian in her second French Open final.

Her opponent on Saturday will be No. 1 Simona Halep, the two-time runner-up who will have another shot in the French Open final after beating No. 3 Garbine Muguruza 6-1, 6-4. "I think she was the aggressive one", Sharapova said.

However, the five-time grand slam victor explained it would be unusual not to talk about the American as numerous defining matches of her career came against her. "It will be okay", she said, taking ownership of those hard moments.

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"When you don't take your chances against the No. 1 in the world, you're in trouble".

Asked about facing Nadal, who he has beaten five out of 14 times but never on clay, he was drowned out by his fans who clearly believe in their man's chances. She was banned in 2016 following a failed doping test and previous year, shortly after she returned to the Tour, organisers declined to offer her a wildcard.

Halep broke to love as Muguruza wilted in the next game, sealing her third final appearance at Roland Garros and ensuring she will stay as world number one after the tournament. It also was a rematch of the U.S. Open final won by Stephens last September.

Top-ranked Nadal enters Wednesday's match bidding to reach his 11th semifinal at Roland Garros.

What Halep just did to Garbine Muguruza was not only unexpected (none of us predicted it yesterday), it was the most impressive performance we've seen from any tennis player this year.

"I didn't play flat any more, more top-spin, and I made her run a little bit more", she said. "No-one is going to hand you the match", she said.

He will now face another Argentine, Juan Martin del Potro, in Friday's semifinal, after Del Potro conquered Marin Cilic 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5.

Muguruza pounced on Sharapova's errors to lead 4-0. Halep's first career Grand Slam feels like an inevitability. "If I do that, I will be OK after the match, no matter the result".

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