Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Simona Halep hits back to sink Angelique Kerber in quarter-finals

Domingo Copeland | 07 June, 2018, 14:40

"When you're writing an autobiography, I don't think there is any reason to write anything that's not true", said Sharapova after being knocked out of Roland Garros by Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-1 in the quarter-finals.

When Simona Halep finally clinched the match point as Angelique Kerber sent one long, the top seed immediately pointed to her head.

Halep broke at the start of the second set and then Kerber dropped her serve again in the ninth game. That might very well have been a relief to 10-time champion Rafael Nadal, who was not at his best on Wednesday (Thursday NZT) and dropped a French Open set for the first time since 2015.

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.

"She was better than me today", Kasatkina said.

"I just didn't feel free, and I felt there was a lot of force behind all the shots and that it wasn't coming natural to me - didn't have the rhythm", Sharapova told reporters. Off the baseline, Stephens will bait Keys to go for too much, using her speed and counter-punching ability to shrink the court. "At least all the stuff I read and the quotes that I read, which was a little bit disappointing".

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website. She ended up with six double-faults and 27 unforced errors, 12 more than Muguruza.

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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. She served a lot better than I did'. This will be the first match between the women since Stephens humiliated her close friend Keys in the final of last year's US Open.

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. After 2 hours and 14 minutes, Halep rallied past the 12th-seeded Kerber 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-2 and reached the French Open semifinals for the third time.

I can only conclude that the market has grossly over-reacted to seeing Muguruza's beating of Sharapova yesterday afternoon, and made her a false favourite for this clash - Halep at [2.10] is today's recommendation.

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. It would be very unusual, I think, if I didn't write anything about her. "Plus the extra tension you have in Roland Garros, things got even worse", she said.

Muguruza raced to a 4-0 lead and never looked back.

Muguruza advanced in the fourth round when Lesia Tsurenko retired after just two games, but her recent run has still been impressive with only five lost games in her last three rounds, including a 6-0, 6-2 win over Samantha Stosur in Round 3. She is 48-2 in majors after winning the opening set.

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