Simona Halep wins grueling duel to reach French Open semis

Angelique Kerber

But the dogged Romanian scrapped hard to turn the contest on its head to win 6-7 (2-7) 6-3 6-2 to advance to the final four. I think my shots were a lot more forced.

Garbine Muguruza roared into the French Open semi-finals with a 6-2, 6-1 demolition job of Maria Sharapova on Wednesday.

The No. 3-seeded Muguruza had lost all three previous meetings against Sharapova, who won two of her five Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros.

The victor of Thursday's semi-final will also decide the world number one spot which Muguruza held for four weeks a year ago.

But it was the German who started the stronger, out-hitting her rival with lethal accuracy, to win the first four games as Halep struggled to find her serving rhythm and peppered the tramlines with unforced errors.

But by the third set Halep had broken the German's defenses - and her resolve - as she banged in 76 percent of her first serves, with only half the unforced errors of her opponent.

Romania's Simona Halep came from a set down to beat Angelique Kerber in 2 hours 14 minutes.

She also lost in the 2014 final to Maria Sharapova with Caroline Wozniacki denying her in the Australian Open final in January.

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The two met in the semifinals earlier this year at the Australian Open, with Halep prevailing 9-7 in a third set there.

One could not tell on Monday, however, as she kept misfiring against two-time Grand Slam champion Kerber.

Sharapova, however, had little to shout out about yesterday as she was unceremoniously dumped out at Roland Garros in the quarter-finals with a straight sets defeat to Garbine Muguruza, who wrapped up the victory inside 70 minutes.

In the other men's quarterfinal, No 3 Marin Cilic and No 5 Juan Martin del Potro were at 5-5 in a first-set tiebreaker when the matchup of past US Open champions was stopped. She hurried up her strokes and easily Halep sealed the eight win in as many matches against a lefty opponent and against a top 20 player this season.

Kerber got off to a flying start. Some of those matches were very defining for me.

"No expectations, no pressure", Halep said as she looked ahead to the semifinals, perhaps trying to persuade herself as much as anyone.

"And now it's just - it's good to be able to play all the time for that, but every week there is a new chance, there is a new thing".

On Wednesday, Halep looked anything but the top seed, slipping 4-0 down in the first set before she rallied to defeat Kerber, a two-time major victor who had exited in the first round in Paris in the last two years.

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