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Coming from a player whose mental strength has often been questioned, the gesture spoke volume. Their French Open quarterfinal on Wednesday (Thursday NZ Time) was no contest at all, a 6-2 6-1 one-way journey. However, she stormed back to win the next two sets 6-3, 6-2 and get the win. "My head won it".

Halep went all out in the first set but her bold strategy backfired badly as she hit 30 unforced errors.

Simona Halep is two wins away from earning her first Grand Slam title.

"After the first set I just stayed strong, I did not give up at all", said Halep. I think my shots were a lot more forced. I tried to do too much.

"I think my body will need a little bit of rest, but mentally I'm ready to go", said five-time major victor Sharapova. In the victory, Halep won 61 percent of her first serve points and 53 percent of her second serve points. Muguruza hopes to make her fourth career grand slam final and her second career French Open final.

Spain´s Garbine Muguruza (R) is congratulated by Russia´s Maria Sharapova after winning, at the end of their women´s singles quarter-final match on day eleven of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open on June 6, 2018.

This will be the 10th time Halep and Kerber have faced off with the Romanian edging their head-to-head 5-4.

Though Kerber, sensing a pendulum swing, cut her passive play out and began to construct her most aggressive points of the match, Halep would be able to protect that advantage throughout the set. "She loves clay. She loves Roland Garros".

It was not enough, though, as the Wimbledon champion Muguruza bulldozed her way through the rest of the set to secure her place in the semi-finals. That includes the French Open in 2014 and 2017, and the Australian Open in January. "I think I've developed a lot as a tennis player".

Kerber would become only the second German woman to reach the last four in Paris since Steffi Graf won back in 1999.

Sharapova looked far from her best right from the start, double-faulting three times to get broken in the opening game. "The score doesn't really matter".

Sharapova's eagerly-awaited fourth-round clash with Serena Williams never even made it on court on Monday as her American nemesis pulled out an hour before the scheduled start with a pectoral injury.

"I think I did a good performance today, a very serious, solid match". To have had the victories that I have had, to have the results that I have, obviously moving a step in the right direction.

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. Only a loss to Dominika Cibulkova in the 2009 quarterfinals here, in which she won only two games, was worse.


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