Sharapova hits back at Serena after French Open mauling

Muguruza is to my mind the slight favourite given her thumping 6-2, 6-1 win over Maria Sharapova yesterday, and greater pedigree at the majors.

Halep is aware she can not afford another poor start on Thursday against 24-year-old Muguruza who has been tested just once in Paris and that was in the first round where fellow former victor Svetlana Kuznetsova pushed her to a tiebreak in the first set. The victor earns a berth in the final at Roland Garros, plus the number one ranking that now belongs to Halep. She was prior to the draw and it took a gift draw for Elina Svitolina - which the Ukrainian was unable to exploit - for her to lose this status for the opening two rounds.

The top seed will face Sloane Stephens or Madison Keys in the final as she eyes an elusive first major in Paris. I just didn't give up.

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.

She had never made it past the fourth round on the red clay of Paris until now.

It was also a match which witnessed a colossal 99 unforced errors.

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"It's really tough to get any ball by her, but especially today, she was neutralizing so well".

Sharapova, who missed the 2016 tournament because of a doping ban and past year after she was refused a wild card, was broken 6 times, committed 27 unforced errors and won just 5 points on her own serve in the second set. It will be her first appearance at the All England Club in three years.

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.

"I am very pleased to be in another final in Paris", said Muguruza who has yet to drop a set in the tournament and claimed her first win over Sharapova in 4 meetings. 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. Halep pointed her right index finger at her temple when she eventually completed a 6-7 (2) 6-3 6-2 comeback to reach the semifinals, too.

"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.

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