Top seed Halep into third Roland Garros semi-final

Top seed Halep into third Roland Garros semi-final

It's the first time either player has made the last-four in Paris and the two friends are looking forward to their third career showdown against one another.

Del Potro's surprise run at the French Open continues after knocking off No. 3 Marin Cilic on Thursday. 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.

Simona Halep will face the victor of Thursday's all-American semifinal between Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys.

She has bounced back from disappointment after disappointment in the Grand Slam tournaments, where reputations and legacies are made and unmade.

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. "It's a nice opportunity, a big challenge, so I have just to feel happy after the match that I gave everything".

The first week, she said, she was at a wedding in Ireland. "I think there is a lot of autobiographies out in the world, especially in the sporting world, that don't necessarily speak about whether they were rivals or someone they competed against".

Stephens used to want to crack the top 10, then finally got there in April. We are always very competitive.

"Sure, yeah, I guess". I like clay. I mean, the court suits my game pretty well. "When you're writing an autobiography, I don't think there is any reason to write anything that's not true", said Sharapova after losing 6-2 6-1. I was really pleased. It's clay. It's different.

"I know that she's strong opponent". So I will stay chilled. "Just one of those days where I think she played incredibly well". "Well, trying to be as nice as possible". I tried to do too much.

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"I think I did a good performance today, a very serious, solid match".

"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".

She regrouped and got headed back in the right direction. Keys is all-out attack. Sharapova insisted that the book contains no inaccuracies and defended her many references to Williams who has not lost to the Russian since 2004. Muguruza won 58 percent of her return points and broke six times in her quarterfinal victory.

Many Americans struggle on the red dirt because of the lack of red clay courts in the United States but several players have managed to master the surface nonetheless.

Halep secured an early break in the second and did not relinquish it despite some fierce pressure from two-time major victor Kerber, with one remarkable get at the net even prompting applause from the German. Three previous times, the other player - be it Maria Sharapova, Jelena Ostapenko or Caroline Wozniacki - won that third set.

Keys has reached the second week in nine of her last 11 Slams. In the first set, Halep had 30 unforced errors. She doesn't define herself by her tennis. In truth, whoever makes it through will be an underdog in any final, but they will definitely have a fair chance of lifting the trophy on Saturday afternoon.

Regardless of the result, the 25-year-old Stephens will become the first American to break into the top five in the WTA rankings since Lindsay Davenport - Keys's coach - in 2006.

Sloane Stephens ousted Madison Keys, 6-4, 6-4, in Thursday's other semifina.

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