Halep stops Muguruza to reach third French open final

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Already, however, she is assured of keeping the world No 1 ranking after this event.

Top seed and world number one Simona Halep defeated Angelique Kerber 6-7 (2/7), 6-3, 6-2 to reach her third French Open semi-final on Wednesday. That includes the French Open in 2014 and 2017, and the Australian Open in January. She's won 59.6% of service points, compared to 59.0% for Muguruza, and won 51.9% of return points, an edge of 4.3% over her rival today.

"Before, I gave it a lot of importance so that's why you're fighting every week, and I got there".

Halep will play Sloane Stephens in Saturday's final.

"I was 2-4 down in the second set but I knew I had to fight for every ball, push her back and play the way I did in the first set".

Halep, of course, came agonisingly close to taking her first Slam in Paris past year, only to fall short at the hands of an electrifying Jelena Ostapenko, who stormed to the Roland Garros title in fascinating fashion. I will play my game against her, as I did a year ago.

Halep cruised through the opening set, helped by a surfeit of errors from the Spaniard, who was a contrasting figure to the one who brushed aside Maria Sharapova the previous day.

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Muguruza pounced on an error-plagued Sharapova start to lead 4-0 with a double break.

When the draw was made at the Orangerie of the French Open exactly two weeks ago, gasps were heard plenty of times with names such a Serena Williams, Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka finally being back in the women's draw of the French Open.

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.

After the 13th-seeded Keys held for 5-4, Stephens served out victory at the second attempt.

That set the stage for the lengthy ninth game where Halep stood firm. The reference to her book seemed rather irrelevant given the one-sided nature of yesterday's match - Sharapova won only three games.

Simona Halep will face the victor of Thursday's all-American semifinal between Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys. When we get on the court, it's time to compete. "But before that, we are not going to be weird and awkward and make it, like, weird for each other", said Stephens, who was close to going out in the third round to Camila Giorgi before winning 8-6 in a deciding set.

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