French Open 2018: Muguruza dumps Sharapova to reach semis

Muguruza will face world No.1 Simona Halep, who got the better of Angelique Kerber over three sets.

Halep converted her first match point when Muguruza sent a final backhand long.

An American awaits in the final, as Sloane Stephens beat Madison Keys in a rematch of the US Open final.

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.

Halep will hope to deny Muguruza a shot at winning a third Grand Slam title and book herself into a third final at Roland Garros in the process, with her top ranking intact.

She has bounced back from disappointment after disappointment in the Grand Slam tournaments, where reputations and legacies are made and unmade.

But even so, Muguruza believes her three-time Grand Slam finalist opponent is the favourite to pick up two more wins this week and break her duck. At the Miami Open in March, she won the title, beating four major champions in a row.

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"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.

Her 6-1, 6-4 victory was one-way traffic at the start as she jumped to a 5-0 lead, but Muguruza, the 2016 French Open champion who had been playing ferocious and focused tennis in Paris this year, soon raised her level.

"I think the book was 100 percent hearsay, at least all the stuff I read and the quotes that I read, which was a little bit disappointing", said Williams, who played in her first Grand Slam since giving birth previous year.

Maria Sharapova's French Open comeback has been ended in straight sets by ruthless Garbine Muguruza.

This was a less clear-cut victory but an early break of serve in each set put Stephens in control. "Every day I play better and that makes me happy". "And then when we get on the court, it's time to compete". Some of those matches were very defining for me. Like, I have just slowly kind of gained momentum.

A sprightly Halep returned superbly on a sunny afternoon on Court Philippe Chatrier, breaking six times in one of the most impressive performances of her career.

Muguruza improved in the early stages of the second set, holding serve for the first time and backing it up with a break on her way to a 3-1 lead. Yes, Muguruza has won three of their four head to head meetings, but Halep has won their only clay clash, so the head to head series is pretty irrelevant to this match-up.

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