Garbine Muguruza and Simona Halep meet in the semifinals of the 2018 tennis French Open. Serena Williams is a three-time French Open champion, Jennifer Capriati won in 2001, and the legendary Chris Evert retired with a 94.5% winning record on clay, triumphing seven times at Roland Garros.
At the end four women remain -and thus a thrilling semi-final on Thursday (after the completion of the men's quarter-finals) awaits.
Halep will play Sloane Stephens in Saturday's final.
Muguruza had lost all three previous times she faced Sharapova, whose five Grand Slam titles include two at Roland Garros.
Halep took her place in a second consecutive Grand Slam final after losing in the final of the Australian Open in January to Caroline Wozniacki and fourth final at the majors overall.
I want to side with Halep, but I can't bet against Muguruza in her current form. I'm playing well, in a good space.
Muguruza was punishing the former world No 1's second serve and broke again at the start of the second set, and although this time Sharapova hit straight back.
A marathon ninth game proved pivotal as Halep saved three break points and stood firm before piling the pressure on the third seed to seize her chance.
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But they hadn't played since 2014, back before Muguruza was as confident and successful as she is these days.
"And I think we played many matches", Sharapova said of Williams.
"It's Simona's third final in Roland Garros, she has a great level". She said she expected an intense match against Sharapova, and, in a way, it was - intensely straightforward and efficient. It's a great semi-finals.
"I have recognised more things I have needed to do". When we get on the court, it's time to compete. But before that, we are not going to be weird and awkward and make it, like, weird for each other.
"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", Muguruza said. She had 41 unforced errors today, which isn't going to win you too many two-set matches. All within one point. "Then I changed a little bit of tactics and it worked". "I think my body will need a little bit of rest, but mentally I'm ready to go", said five-time major victor Sharapova. Over the last two sets, Halep made 16 unforced errors, half as many as Kerber, who was treated for a blister on her left foot early in the third.
The 25-year-old can be forgiven if she pinches herself. She didn't give up a point. I obviously rely on what I learned there and how to manage my emotions and manage the moment. The first was also at Roland Garros in 1980, when Chris Evert defeated Virginia Ruzici 6-0, 6-3.