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

08 Juin, 2018, 02:18 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion

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.

Halep who will also keep hold of the world number one ranking as a result of the victory, made a flying start and was 5-0 in quick time as Muguruza made some wild errors.

"I think it would be unusual for me not to include someone that I have competed against for so many years", said the 31-year-old.

Furthermore, Halep's data on return yesterday was similarly strong, creating 17 break points on the usually strong Kerber serve across 15 return games, and it took a resolute performance by the German to take that first set to a breaker. Serena Williams is a three-time French Open champion, Jennifer Capriati won in 2001, and the legendary Chris Evert retired with a 94.5% winning record on clay, triumphing seven times at Roland Garros.

Two-time major victor Kerber raced into a 4-0 lead in the first set before having to rely on a tiebreak to nudge her ahead.

A sprightly Halep returned superbly on a sunny afternoon on Court Philippe Chatrier, breaking six times in one of the most impressive performances of her career. The final will be played Saturday.

As great a mover and defender as Halep is, she could be left powerless if Muguruza is at her imposing best.

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Halep responded well to going behind.

"I lost three times until now and no one died", Halep said, "so it will be OK".

These two have played four times and Muguruza has won three of those meetings.

In addition, when we look at the clay data for 2018, Halep should be a clear favourite. Two of the four matches have gone the distance.

Halep, of course, came agonisingly close to taking her first Slam in Paris a year ago, only to fall short at the hands of an electrifying Jelena Ostapenko, who stormed to the Roland Garros title in fascinating fashion. With her game being big enough to dominate proceedings against many players, it can sometimes turn into a double-edged sword if Keys finds herself struggling with nerves. Never at any stage during the match did the Russian appear to have a counter against Muguruza. She's suffocating her opponents with such deep shots and bullying her way across the court.

"I started in the first set not matching her level", said Muguruza, the reigning Wimbledon champion. "I think everyone would ask me questions, as well", she said.

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