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Simona Halep makes her second successive final

08 June 2018

Simona Halep vowed to erase the misery of her 2017 Roland Garros heartbreak after reaching her third French Open final on Thursday where she will face US Open victor Sloane Stephens for the title.

Of less logic but ample joy would be Nadal's semifinal opponent for Friday, Juan Martin del Potro, who famously nearly quit the game with belligerent wrists himself, but on Thursday found another crest with his first French Open semifinal berth in nine long, trying years, when he edged Marin Cilic, 7-6 (7-5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5. Halep is a three-time runner-up at majors, including in Paris in 2014 and 2017.

Backed by fans who loudly chanted her first name between games, Halep went ahead 3-0 in only 15 minutes with the help of only one victor.

It was Halep who made a blistering start on Court Philippe-Chatrier as she broke Spaniard Muguruza's serve four times to win the opening set 6-1.

After being washed out by rain on Wednesday, Rafael Nadal and Juan Martin del Potro set up a semifinal showdown on the men's side.

Muguruza hopes to make her fourth career grand slam final and her second career French Open final.

The Spanish 3rd seed, who was the champion in Paris in 2016, will face top seed Simona Halep for a place in Saturday's final.

Spain's Garbine Muguruza has yet to drop a set in the tournament.

By the end of the first set, the 5-time major victor had won just 8 points against the Muguruza serve and failed to carve out a single break point. Halep held serve to take a 5-4 lead that gave her breathing room and a chance to close things out in the next game.

"I hadn't had a withdrawal in - I don't know how long. maybe like six years or something", Sharapova said.

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"When you're writing an autobiography, I don't think there is any reason to write anything that's not true", Sharapova said.

Garbine Muguruza is coming off a straight sets win over Maria Sharapova that took 15 games to decide.

Sharapova didn't play a point in the fourth round, because Serena Williams pulled out of their much-anticipated showdown with an injured chest muscle.

Like Halep, Stephens is an incredibly talented defensive player, and she kept stretching points Thursday until Keys would err. Muguruza essentially got that round off, too: Her opponent, Lesia Tsurenko, quit with an injury after only two games.

The No. 3-seeded Muguruza had lost all three previous meetings against Sharapova, who won two of her five Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros.

Muguruza, a two-time major champion, entered the semifinals having not lost a set in the tournament.

"It was a very good level, the whole match, even if the first set was 6-1".

Halep went all out in the first set but her bold strategy backfired badly as she hit 30 unforced errors. "Just one of those days where I think she played incredibly well".

If this hadn't been enough, Halep was forced to play on Court 18, a newly-inaugurated court at this year's tournament edition. "I missed a lot at the beginning of the match".

Simona Halep makes her second successive final