Simona Halep beats Muguruza at French Open to reach 4th Slam final

Simona Halep fought back from a set down against two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber to book her spot in the semi-finals of the French Open and set up a shootout with Garbine Muguruza for the world No. 1 spot.

Halep was the runner-up in 2014 and 2017.

A win on Thursday would move Stephens to No. 4 in the rankings.

"I think I played one of my best matches on clay", Halep said in a courtside interview.

In short, the market has been convinced that Halep is the better player throughout this event, but yet has ditched her for this particular match-up, and it's hard to understand why. Muguruza has won seven of her last nine matches on clay court.

"I have another chance to be in the final and hope to do better than a year ago".

Muguruza had thrashed Maria Sharapova in the quarter-finals but Halep was a different proposition entirely, and it seemed she knew it.

But it was the German who started the stronger, out-hitting her rival with lethal accuracy, to win the first four games as Halep struggled to find her serving rhythm and peppered the tramlines with unforced errors. However, she stormed back to win the next two sets 6-3, 6-2 and get the win.

Kerber eventually prevailed in a tiebreak, but Halep came out all guns blazing in the second, firing baseline bullets at her opponent, who tried to cling on against the onslaught.

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That match was also won, comprehensively, by Stephens for her first grand slam crown.

Muguruza settled down in the second set, moving 2-0 ahead before Halep levelled in the eighth game.

That set the stage for the lengthy ninth game where Halep stood firm.

Stephens beat her fellow American and great friend Madison Keys 6-4 6-4 in a repeat of last year's US Open final. When we get on the court, it's time to compete.

Sharapova takes out frustration of Muguruza defeat by blasting Serena over comments on her autobiography, says her book is honest.

One thing Halep will not want to dwell on is the fact she has won only one of her past eight finals - including a defeat by Jelena Ostapenko in last year's Roland Garros showpiece.

Stephens, who is now into the semi-finals of a major for the third time, leads Keys 2-0 in head-to-heads but they have never met on clay.

Coverage: Daily live radio and text commentaries on BBC Radio 5 live, the BBC Sport website and app.



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