French Open 2018: Maria Sharapova Loses, Men's Play Postponed on Wednesday

Dean Simpson
June 7, 2018

Muguruza demolished Maria Sharapova in straight sets yesterday to set up a semi-final showdown against Halep, who is the current world No 1.

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

"After the first set I just stayed strong, I did not give up at all", Halep said. "So I think that's why I won today".

Halep completed the 30th win over a German opponent and remained unbeaten in quarter-finals matches here at Roland Garros.

Muguruza moved into the final four with a convincing 6-2 6-1 victory over Russia's Maria Sharapova on Wednesday.

Muguruza holds a 3-1 career edge over Halep in head-to-head meetings but the Romanian won their only clash on clay in Stuttgart in 2015.

'I think it would be unusual for me not to include someone that I have competed against for so many years, ' she said. She ended up with six double-faults and 27 unforced errors, 12 more than Muguruza. "Well, she's number one", she said.


The women got their matches done before rain arrived at Roland Garros, leaving the men's quarterfinals suspended in progress.

Against Kerber, Halep stumbled out of the gate, dropping the first set in a tiebreaker.

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.

Halep, who has lost all three of her Grand Slam finals - including the Australian Open, to Caroline Wozniacki, in January - arrived in Paris on a hot streak, reaching at least the quarter-finals in her last nine claycourt tournaments and losing only one set on her way to facing Kerber in Paris.

Halep is a three-time Grand Slam runner-up, including in Paris in 2014 and previous year; Kerber is a two-time major champ elsewhere; Muguruza won the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017; and Sharapova owns five Grand Slam titles, including at Roland Garros in 2012 and 2014.

Muguruza advanced in the fourth round when Lesia Tsurenko retired after just two games, but her recent run has still been impressive with only five lost games in her last three rounds, including a 6-0, 6-2 win over Samantha Stosur in Round 3.

"I think there is a lot of autobiographies out in the world, especially in the sporting world, that don't necessarily speak about whether they were rivals or someone they competed against".


Sharapova looked the more rusty of the two players, with two limp service games handing Muguruza an immediate 4-0 lead and consequently the first set.

It wasn't an easy win till Kerber needed a medical timeout in the third set.

But this gesture towards her coach Darren Cahill was more than a celebratory pose, it was a sign that this was 'the new Simo'.

"It's not that important, because it's constantly this thing going on", said Muguruza.

Such impressive data from this match has led to Muguruza being chalked up as a [1.89] favourite over Halep, and I want to discuss why I think this is an utterly weird line.

By the time Sharapova recovered somewhat to play better it was too late, and Muguruza was into her impressive stride, with the court finally filling up post-lunch.


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