Stephens, Keys to reprise US Open final in French Open semis
Jun 08 2018
She is already ranked No. 1 in the world, but a French Open title would put a cherry on top of her career.
As if to reflect the last few months, not just the chance to win her first Slam, but also the No 1 ranking will be on the line for Halep when she faces Garbine Muguruza.
After a timid start, Stephens found her rhythm and took control of the opening set by breaking in the third game with a forehand victor down the line.
Halep spent an hour longer on court than Muguruza in their respective quarter-finals on Wednesday, needing three sets to beat German 12th seed Angelique Kerber.
"I think I played one of my best matches on clay against a great opponent", added Halep, who will be appearing in her fourth final at the majors having also been beaten in Australia in January.
After the five-time Grand Slam victor Sharapova lost in the French Open quarterfinals to Garbine Muguruza, she hit back at Williams' accusations and comments about her book.
With the momentum back on her side, the Romanian broke to love to secure victory in 92 minutes and return to her second straight final in Paris.
"I will try my best", Halep told the crowd at Court Phillipe Chatrier, "and hopefully I will be better than previous year".
A win on Thursday would move Stephens to No. 4 in the rankings.
"There is no point to be sad about what happened in Rome, because now it doesn't really matter", Muguruza concluded her pre-tournament press conference - and has been tearing up the Parisian clay with steely determination since. Rafa Nadal goes in search of his 11th French Open title but don't count out Novak Djokovic - and what about the in-form Alexander Zverev?
After suffering a heavy defeat against Garbine Muguruza in the French Open quarter-finals, Maria Sharapova has hit back at Serena Williams's accusations that the Russian's autobiography was "100 per cent hearsay", insisting contentious references to her arch-rival are accurate.
By contrast, Muguruza breezed past two-time Roland Garros champion Maria Sharapova in a ruthless victory.
However, it was just a brief respite as 24-year-old Wimbledon champion Muguruza claimed a quick double break for 4-1, backed up by a hold for 5-1.
All three were tight, three-set defeats, none more painful than her slow fade against the inexperienced Ostapenko in Paris past year, where she led, 6-4, 3-0, with a point to go up, 4-0, before Ostapenko rallied to take the trophy instead. I think that's a load of crap, but, you know, it's just me (smiling).
An anti-climactic match ended predictably, with a Sharapova backhand nestling in the net - her 27th unforced error.
"But to have had the victories that I have had, to have the results that I have, obviously moving a step in the right direction".
Their matchup provides a contrast in styles: Keys is a big hitter whose serves and forehands are the keys to her success; Stephens covers every inch of the court as well as anyone. Halep managed to win despite 46 unforced errors and being broken four times.