"So I give less importance to that".

This was when the Halep could have gone into a shell, but as she has so often shown in both wins and losses, she will fight it out till the decider, keep running till someone is out of gas.

In her 31st non-consecutive week as the world No.1, Halep will face Garbine Muguruza to defend the top spot in the semifinals.

Simona Halep is two wins away from earning her first Grand Slam title. The victor earns a berth in the final at Roland Garros - plus the No 1 ranking that now belongs to Halep.


"I don't feel I'm favorite for this match, because she's played better than I have this year", Muguruza said of her next match against Halep.

Halep is still chasing her first Grand Slam title after several near-misses. Halep managed to win despite 46 unforced errors and being broken four times.

"To have had the victories that I have had, to have the results that I have, obviously moving a step in the right direction", said Sharapova who had made the last-eight in Madrid and semis in Rome in the run-up to Paris.

Sharapova did not play a point in the fourth round, because Serena Williams pulled out of their much-anticipated showdown with an injured chest muscle. That she's into her first Slam semifinal on Roland Garros' red clay may seem a surprise to many, but Keys has had European clay success before. The tiebreak may have been one-sided, but the long rallies, Kerber's thunderous groundstrokes and Halep's gritty defense made it an entertaining first set that lasted for an hour.

In the other men's quarter-final, number three Marin Cilic and number five Juan Martin del Potro were at 5-all in a first-set tie breaker when the match-up of past US Open champions was stopped.


The Romanian, who lost in last year's final at Roland Garros, defeated Kerber 6-7 (2) 6-3 6-2 to book a clash with Garbine Muguruza in the last four. '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.

The American pair have contrasting styles, with Stephens' game based on her athleticism and ability to get many balls back, while also turning defence into offence fairly quickly. "One day I will make it".

On whether Williams's late withdrawal in the previous round had derailed her momentum in the tournament she said: 'I didn't really know what to do.

One could not tell on Monday, however, as she kept misfiring against two-time Grand Slam champion Kerber. She was prior to the draw and it took a gift draw for Elina Svitolina - which the Ukrainian was unable to exploit - for her to lose this status for the opening two rounds.


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