Muguruza thrashes Sharapova in French Open

Rafael Nadal celebrates winnning his fourth round match against Germany's Maximilian Marterer Charles Platiau Reuters

Rafael Nadal celebrates winnning his fourth round match against Germany's Maximilian Marterer Charles Platiau Reuters

Halep, who has lost all three of her Grand Slam finals - including the Australian Open, to Caroline Wozniacki, in January - arrived in Paris on a hot streak, reaching at least the quarter-finals in her last nine claycourt tournaments and losing only one set on her way to facing Kerber in Paris.

"It's the same thing as always". She served a lot better than I did'.

But they hadn't played since 2014, back before Muguruza was as confident and successful as she is these days. She's won 59.6% of service points, compared to 59.0% for Muguruza, and won 51.9% of return points, an edge of 4.3% over her rival today. And then when we get on the court, it's time to compete. And also physical, for sure, but mental I was strong. "It was tough because her ball is very low, and you don't have many chances to finish the points from there". Even playing on clay, it was green clay, which is much faster and much different.

Both were appearing in the quarterfinals on the red clay of Paris for the first time, and both handled the occasion well. "I changed the tactics a bit and it worked". When you're writing an autobiography, I don't think there is any reason to write anything that's not true'.

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. I think she was the aggressive one. "I'm not ever going to try to be a person that isn't nice, so that feels more authentic to me and I think I'm still doing okay while trying to be as nice as possible". I think my shots were a lot more forced. However, she stormed back to win the next two sets 6-3, 6-2 and get the win. Keys is all-out attack.

After a love hold, she snatched triple break points to find her feet at 3-4.

Burning question: Can Keys wipe her hard drive clean when she squares up against Stephens?

Many Americans struggle on the red dirt because of the lack of red clay courts in the United States but several players have managed to master the surface nonetheless.

The Spaniard, who won the 2016 French Open, stayed on course for her third Grand Slam title. This is also the case when looking at slightly longer term data as well. Stephens has made the second week in Paris in five of her seven appearances and Keys is slowly coming to terms with the surface.

Halep is still chasing her first Grand Slam title.

Kerber is a two-time Grand Slam champion.

Sharapova may have vast experience on the big stage, but three double faults gifted Muguruza - who only played two games of her fourth-round clash before Lesia Tsurenko retired with an injury - a break in a nervy opening game from the Russian.

Here's another key category in which Muguruza has the upper hand: 2-0 in major championships. But she fell apart and eventually lost to the unseeded Latvian in her second French Open final.

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