Sharapova hits back at Serena after French Open mauling

It will be the 26-year-old Romanian's fourth appearance in a major final, having also lost to Caroline Wozniacki in Australia in January.

French Open 2018 nearly presented the momentous occasion where the bitter rivals - Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova - former World Number ones, were about to clash in the 4th round.

American duo Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys will square off in the Roland Garros semi-finals on Thursday, in a rematch of last September's US Open final.

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Halep is aware she can not afford another poor start on Thursday against 24-year-old Muguruza who has been tested just once in Paris and that was in the first round where fellow former victor Svetlana Kuznetsova pushed her to a tiebreak in the first set. "I think everyone would ask me questions, as well", she said. Halep started slowly, spraying shots wide as she lost the first four games of the match against the No. 12 seed who hit her early groundstrokes with lethal accuracy.

And Thursday, with a gutsy and impressive victory over third-seeded Garbiñe Muguruza in the semifinals of the French Open, Halep earned herself another chance to become a Grand Slam champion.

Following her 70-minute defeat to Garbine Muguruza 6-2, 6-1 in the quarterfinals at Roland Garros on Wednesday, the Russian spent a portion of her press conference addressing criticism made by her rival about her autobiography, in which Williams claimed the book was "100 percent hearsay". "Not long after I heard Serena told a friend, who then told me, 'I'll never lose to that little bitch again'". This year, she was two points from defeat in the third round against Camila Giorgi of Italy before turning that match around.

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"It's really tough to get any ball by her, but especially today, she was neutralizing so well". I'm not ever going to try to be a person that isn't nice, so that feels more authentic to me and, you know, I think I'm still doing okay. I just went and searched for her in the training room.

Such impressive data from this match has led to Muguruza being chalked up as a [1.89] favourite over Halep, and I want to discuss why I think this is an utterly weird line.

A rare misplaced groundstroke from Halep gave third seed Muguruza a break to get on the board at 5-1, but Halep put away another forehand victor to take a one-sided opening set.

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"I have another chance to be in the final and hope to do better than a year ago".

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