1 with Garbine Muguruza

07 June 2018, 02:00 | Kristine Mills

Maria Sharapova is a value underdog against Garbine Muguruza today

Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova

Muguruza was punishing the former world number one's second serve and broke again at the start of the second set, and although this time Sharapova hit straight back.

"But on the day I can leave a Grand Slam saying I gave everything I had, I played a great match, is not here yet".

The Romanian is chasing a first Grand Slam title having lost the final of this event a year ago to Jelena Ostapenko.

After making 30 unforced errors in the first set, which she lost 7-6 (2), Halep finally found the right rhythm to dictate points with deep groundstrokes and aggressive returns. The 24-year-old Muguruza holds a 3-1 record over Halep, with the victor of the last-four clash to face either Sloane Stephens or her fellow American Madison Keys in the final.

Against Kerber, Halep stumbled out of the gate, dropping the first set in a tiebreaker.

Muguruza will face Simona Halep or Angelique Kerber in the semifinals. There were no such fireworks this time, though, with Halep sealing a 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-2 victory. Muguruza has won seven of her last nine matches on clay court.

It was not enough, though, as the Wimbledon champion Muguruza bulldozed her way through the rest of the set to secure her place in the semi-finals. The German raced into a 3-0 lead with an early double break.

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

Sharapova's eagerly-awaited fourth-round clash with Serena Williams never even made it on court on Monday as her American nemesis pulled out an hour before the scheduled start with a pectoral injury.

The second quarter-final between Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro is also finely balanced with the players tied at 5-5 in the tiebreak in the opening set.

In the victory, Muguruza won 72 percent of her first serve points and 46 percent of her second serve points. Sharapova was the French Open champion in 2012 and 2014; Muguruza took the trophy in 2016.

When the top-seeded Halep and No 3 Muguruza meet Thursday, their contrasting styles will match up with plenty at stake. ". Coming into this part of the year, I was losing a few first-round matches, matches that I wanted to be winning, of course".

Kerber is a two-time Grand Slam champion.



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