Published: Fri, June 08, 2018
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Romanian star Simona Halep reaches Roland Garros final for the third time

Romanian star Simona Halep reaches Roland Garros final for the third time

"I have actually been told quite often that I'll never win or do well because I'm too nice of a person and I just don't have it".

"I hadn't had a withdrawal in - I don't know how long. maybe like six years or something", Sharapova said. The Romanian won their first meeting 6-4, 6-4 in the first round of Barcelona 2012; Stephens responded with two emphatic victories in the following year's Australian swing, 6-4, 6-0 in Hobart and 6-1, 6-1 in the first round of Melbourne - the latter of which paved the way to Stephens' maiden Grand Slam semifinal run. "I have another chance to be in the final and hope to do better than a year ago", said Halep. Stephens put a higher percentage of first serves into play (76.2 percent) than anyone in the draw other than her first-round victim, Arantxa Rus.

She'll move on to face world No. 1 Simona Halep, who needed three sets to defeat No. 12 Angelique Kerber.

Halep had to come back from a break of serve down in the second set and fend off three break points at 4-4 before finally closing out the victory, which guaranteed that she will remain No. 1 in the rankings after this tournament.

Sharapova, 31, was broken in the opening game of the second set which she immediately retrieved. Sloane Stephens has dropped one set, in the third round to Camila Giorgi - who served for the match twice, but fell 4-6, 6-1, 8-6.

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Halep played her first Roland Garros final in 2014 when she lost to Russian Maria Sharapova.

Garbine Muguruza is coming off a straight sets win over Maria Sharapova that took 15 games to decide. The first was also at Roland Garros in 1980, when Chris Evert defeated Virginia Ruzici 6-0, 6-3.

The 24-year-old Spaniard stopped the rot in the sixth game before Halep quickly reasserted her authority. Muguruza isn't giving he opponent many chances to breathe, and that's the reason for her quick success in these recent matches. While Sharapova wasn't prominent in the conversation to add a third title to her résumé, she looked as if she belonged in the second week, which ended with rising commotion around a scheduled fourth-round clash against arch-nemesis Serena Williams. Muguruza essentially got that round off, too: Her opponent, Lesia Tsurenko, quit with an injury after only two games.

No. 1 Simona Halep vs.

When play was suspended on Wednesday, Nadal was trying to even his match with Diego Schwartzman at one set with a 5-3 lead.

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Rafa Nadal is eyeing his 11th title.

With Serena Williams still working her way back after giving birth past year and withdrawing from the French Open in the fourth round due to a pectoral injury, Stephens is emerging as the face of women's tennis in the United States.

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

"It was very nice to play like that", Halep said. Muguruza is 3-0 in career grand slam semifinal matches. But she failed to convert any of those, and Halep held there, before breaking at love to end it.

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