Muguruza condemns Sharapova to worst slam loss in six years

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Garbine Muguruza thrashed Maria Sharapova 6-2, 6-1 to reach the French Open semi-finals on Wednesday, June 6, condemning the Russian to her worst Grand Slam defeat in more than 6 years.

A dominant win over Karolina Pliskova in the third round had people seeing the Maria Sharapova of old, but she didn't look anything like that Wednesday against Garbine Muguruza.

The German lost her first set of the tournament in the second set after Halep broke her serve in the opening game, and the Romanian surged clear in the deciding set. The tiebreak may have been one-sided, but the long rallies, Kerber's thunderous groundstrokes and Halep's gritty defense made it an entertaining first set that lasted for an hour.

She sent down three double faults to be broken at the very start and then, after a marathon third game, found herself 3-0 down with the Spaniard finding a deep and consistent length.

"It's always a tough match when I play against her".

"I just didn't feel free, and I felt there was a lot of force behind all the shots and that it wasn't coming natural to me - didn't have the rhythm", Sharapova told reporters.

"I have actually been told quite often that I'll never win or do well because I'm too nice of a person and I just don't have it".

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website. She's also just one percentage point behind Serena Williams in the tournament for highest percentage of first-serve points won (78-77 percent), and her winners to unforced errors differential of plus-3 is best among the semifinalists.

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Keys has reached the second week in nine of her last 11 Slams.

But they hadn't played since 2014, back before Muguruza was as confident and successful as she is these days. "And then when we get on the court, it's time to compete".

The women's semifinals at the 2018 French Open are set, but the men's draw will have to wait another day to fill the final two spots.

The American pair have contrasting styles, with Stephens' game based on her athleticism and ability to get many balls back, while also turning defence into offence fairly quickly.

There were no such fireworks this time, though, with Halep sealing a 6-7 (7-2) 6-3 6-2 victory. "That's why I started to work hard on my mentality, and my psychology", she had told WTA Insider after lifting the trophy in Madrid previous year. Muguruza sensed weakness and pounced for a 4-0 lead.

Just like she wowed the tennis world with her summer a year ago, Stephens is enjoying a strong spring that started with her winning the title in Miami. Halep saved two match points to win that one.

"If I make it all, it's very well". She is less comfortable on the clay compared to Stephens and can get rattled when opponents make her run too much.

I can only conclude that the market has grossly over-reacted to seeing Muguruza's beating of Sharapova yesterday afternoon, and made her a false favourite for this clash - Halep at [2.10] is today's recommendation.

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