Maria Sharapova's French Open comeback snuffed out by clinical Garbine Muguruza

Maria Sharapova's French Open comeback snuffed out by clinical Garbine Muguruza

Thanks to her sublime athleticism and great ball-striking, she can essentially "shut the court down" against her opponents, slowly smothering them with controlled aggression, injections of pace or go on lock-down defensively.

"Well, I think it would be unusual for me not to include someone that I have competed against for so many years", a glum Sharapova, who has lost 19 of her 21 matches against Williams, told reporters. "But, yeah, I think she made everyone wait a little bit". I tried to do too much. I think that's a load of crap, but, you know, it's just me (smiling). Halep showed great fight in her quarterfinal victory, as she fought back after dropping a tough first set tiebreak and dominated in the final two sets.

After New York, she lost her next eight matches, a run encompassing the Asian swing of late 2017 and the early exchanges of 2018, including a demoralising first round exit at the Australian Open. I'm happy to play the final again at my favourite grand slam.

Thoroughly and clinically outplayed by Muguruza in every respect, Sharapova looked uncomfortable and off-balance for most of her brief stint on court and had a particularly deflating second set in which she logged two winners to 15 unforced errors.

Halep assured herself of retaining the No. 1 ranking and reached her third final in Paris.

Garbine Muguruza overwhelmed Maria Sharapova 6-2, 6-1 in a matchup of past French Open champions to reach the semifinals.

"So, I lost three times until now and no one died, so it will be OK, " said Halep when asked about her previous major finals. Halep will also have to contend with the fact that once she makes it to the second week of slams, Muguruza comes alive. Halep's only win over Muguruza came in the 2016 Stuttgart Open, the only meeting between these two on clay.

Her victory over third seed Muguruza also means she will retain the world No. 1 ranking next week. Halep started the match with real intent, and was all over Muguruza from the very first game, breaking immediately before snuffing out a determined fightback from the Spaniard in the next game.

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Muguruza pounced on Sharapova's errors to lead 4-0.

Sharapova didn't play a point in the fourth round, because Serena Williams pulled out of their much-anticipated showdown with an injured chest muscle.

Ruzici is now Simona Halep's manager.

History is on Nadal's side as he continues his quest for an 11th title at Roland-Garros.

The 10th-seeded Stephens had never made it past the fourth round in Paris until now.

Of less logic but ample joy would be Nadal's semifinal opponent for Friday, Juan Martin del Potro, who famously nearly quit the game with belligerent wrists himself, but on Thursday found another crest with his first French Open semifinal berth in nine long, trying years, when he edged Marin Cilic, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5. "My head won it".

She has acknowledged having trouble handling her nerves, which is part of why she was so proud about the way she overcame Kerber, a two-time major champion and former No 1.

Simona Halep has an overall 16-14 record in Tour finals.

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