Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Sports | By Angie Alvarado

Tactical change helps Halep reach French Open semis

Tactical change helps Halep reach French Open semis

Muguruza the bigger striker of the ball, had only 14. "But before that, we are not going to be weird and awkward and make it, like, weird for each other", said Stephens, who was close to going out in the third round to Camila Giorgi before winning 8-6 in a deciding set.

Ruzici is now Simona Halep's manager. "She's never forgiven me for it". I think my shots were a lot more forced. Halep saved two match points to win that one.

Halep went from out-of-sorts to on-target against Kerber, scrambling to every ball and staying the course to erase an early deficit.

Despite Halep having a lot of tread on her shoes, she has shown no signs of slowing down at this stage of the tournament.

At the end four women remain -and thus a thrilling semi-final on Thursday (after the completion of the men's quarter-finals) awaits.

Nadal lost the opener 6-4 against 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman but began to play better after a rain delay of just under an hour.

Furthermore, Halep's data on return yesterday was similarly strong, creating 17 break points on the usually strong Kerber serve across 15 return games, and it took a resolute performance by the German to take that first set to a breaker.

There were no such fireworks this time, though, with Halep sealing a 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-2 victory.

It was not enough, however, as Wimbledon champion Muguruza bulldozed her way through the rest of the set to secure her place in the semi-finals. Stephens won that one, as well as the only other match the longtime friends, Fed Cup and Olympic teammates have played against each other. Sharapova and Williams were due to clash in the fourth round on Monday but the American pulled out at the last minute of their eagerly-awaited grudge match with injury.

In a re-run of last year's US Open final, Stephens once again got the better of her fellow American Madison Keys in two sets.

And moments later she broke to book her spot in the final!

Stephens hasn't dropped a set since. As she told the press after her quarterfinal win, "There were times when I had to go back and hit a higher ball, where maybe before I would have tried to hit a line-drive victor".

Sharapova certainly didn't do that. Halep, who started attacking from the start, was as tidy as she was effective on the day, finishing with six fewer errors than her opponent's count of 31.

Muguruza pounced on Sharapova's errors to lead 4-0. It wasn't just the body "absorbing all of the wear and tear", Murray said, but absorbing it "all of a sudden".

Muguruza leads Halep 3-1 head-to-head, but this is their first Grand Slam matchup.

It was 5-0 by the time Muguruza eventually claimed a game. The Spaniard won the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon past year.

Halep was the runner-up in 2014 and 2017.

So here comes a fourth chance after a blazing showing against Garbine Muguruza, the two-time major-title victor who had looked like a champ here until Thursday.

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