Germany's Angelique Kerber is out of the French Open after world number one Simona Halep produced a fine comeback. The Romanian will meet Garbine Muguruza in the last four, after outclassing Maria Sharapova.
Angelique Kerber is out of the French Open after a rousing comeback by world number one Simona Halep.
Halep fought back to triumph in a bruising quarterfinal battle against the German to move to within two victories of her first Grand Slam title.
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The Romanian, who lost in last year's final at Roland Garros, defeated Kerber 6-7, 6-3, 6-2 to book a place against Garbine Muguruza in the semis.
World number one Halep made a slow start, misfiring on her first serve and spraying her groundshots wide early on in a duel that lasted more than two hours, before steadily breaking down her opponent.
"I rushed too much at the beginning," said Halep, who has lost two finals at Roland Garros, including last year. "It was tough because her ball is very low, and you don't have many chances to finish the points from there."
Simona Halep is looking to win the French Open having lost two finals at Roland Garros, in 2014 and 2017.
Halep had arrived in Paris on a hot streak, reaching at least the quarter-finals in her last nine clay-court tournaments and losing only one set on her way to facing Kerber in Paris.
But it was the German who started the stronger, out-hitting her rival, and with lethal accuracy, to win the first four games as Halep struggled to find her serving rhythm and peppered the tramlines with unforced errors.
Kerber eventually prevailed in a first set tiebreak, but Halep came out all guns blazing in the second, firing baseline bullets at Kerber, who failed to cling on against the onslaught.
In the other semifinal, 2016 champion Muguruza outclassed Maria Sharapova in a comprehensive 6-2, 6-1 victory over the two-time Roland Garros champion.
"When you're facing somebody that also has an aggressive style of game, I think it's about who takes the command, who takes the first opportunity," said Muguruza. "I think it was a little bit of that today."
Nadal saved by the rain
Ten-time French Open champion Rafael Nadal will resume his rain-interrupted quarter-final against Argentine Diego Schwartzman on Thursday, with the defending champion trailing by a set.
Nadal, who lost the opening set 6-4, fought back to lead 5-3 in the second before rain forced the suspension of the match on Court Philippe Chatrier.
Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro also resume their last-eight clash on Court Suzanne Lenglen, locked at 5-5 in the first set tiebreak.
mds (AFP, Reuters)