Sloane Stephens into French Open final by winning all-American semi

Muguruza had lost all three previous times she faced Sharapova, whose five Grand Slam titles include two at Roland Garros.

French Open 2018 nearly presented the momentous occasion where the bitter rivals - Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova - former World Number ones, were about to clash in the 4th round.

On Wednesday, Halep looked anything but the top seed, slipping 4-0 down in the first set before she rallied to defeat Kerber, a two-time major victor who had exited in the first round in Paris in the last two years.

She will meet either US Open champion Sloane Stephens or her fellow American Madison Keys in Saturday's final.

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For Muguruza, the two-time major will rue her missed break point opportunities, converting just two of eight compared to Halep's six of 10. She was in Chicago with coach Kamau Murray, working her way back from a foot injury that required surgery and sidelined her for 11 months. The reference to her book seemed rather irrelevant given the one-sided nature of yesterday's match - Sharapova won only three games.

The 26-year-old Romanian - twice a loser in Paris and edged out at Melbourne in January by Carolina Wozniacki - made it through on Thursday with a 6-1, 6-4 semi-final victory over Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza in a match that sprang to life in the second set.

"When you're writing an autobiography, I don't think there is any reason to write anything that's not true", Sharapova said.

"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". I'm not ever going to try to be a person that isn't nice, so that feels more authentic to me and, you know, I think I'm still doing okay.

Muguruza says top ranking no longer 'that important'
Coming into this part of the year, I was losing a few first-round matches, matches that I wanted to be winning, of course". Muguruza had lost all three previous times she faced Sharapova, whose five Grand Slam titles include two at Roland Garros .


"It's really tough to get any ball by her, but especially today, she was neutralizing so well. If I do that, I will be OK after the match, no matter the result". I just went and searched for her in the training room. Just like in last year's US Open final, the two good friends and compatriots will be battling it out on a big stage once again.

Keys will have to be patient in this semi-final, and only pull the trigger when she's ready to finish off the point.

On Court Suzanne Lenglen, 2014 and 2017 runner-up Halep, came back from a set down for the second time in the tournament to see off 12th seed Kerber, who was bidding to become the first German woman in the last 4 since Steffi Graf in 1999.

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