Published: Mon, June 11, 2018
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza in semi-final

Simona Halep and Garbine Muguruza in semi-final

While top-seed Halep is chasing her maiden Grand Slam title at the Roland Garros, Muguruza is bidding to make her fourth Grand Slam final and second career French Open final.

However, Halep is a two-time runner-up at Roland Garros - slumping to a defeat to Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova in the 2014 final before losing to Jelena Ostapenko past year.

Halep feels better equipped to finally break her duck in Paris.

The world number one had lost all three of her previous major finals, including two at Roland Garros, and said she struggled to contain her emotions after staging a thrilling comeback.

"When I was down a break in the second set I just tried to relax and enjoy the match". So I will stay chilled.

Muguruza had thrashed Maria Sharapova in the quarter-finals but Halep was a different proposition entirely, and it seemed she knew it.

"In the last game I felt like I could not breathe anymore", said Halep.

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"She was playing incredible right away, and I think I should have done something a little bit better to not let it go so fast". Her opponent in Saturday's latest final is 10th-seeded American Sloane Stephens, who has a 100 percent record in major finals after winning last year's U.S. Open final.

That match was also won, comprehensively, by Stephens for her first grand slam crown.

Stephens briefly looked out on her feet, but raised her game by shortening the points to break straight back before levelling the set at 4-4, helped by the first ace of the match.

"It's always hard to play someone from your country, and such a good friend, so I'm pleased to get through that", said Stephens.

"This is one of my favourite tournaments and I'm looking forward to Saturday".

Keys briefly rallied to pull one break back, but Stephens did not waste her second opportunity, sealing victory on her first match point with a glorious backhand victor down the line.

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