Maria Sharapova hits back at Serena Williams in book row

She didn't give up a point.

The Romanian, who lost in last year's final at Roland Garros, defeated Kerber 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-2 to book a clash with Garbine Muguruza in the last four.

Stephens has already added a major to her trophy cabinet after clinching last year's U.S. Open, and she'll hope to double her tally after edging American compatriot Madison Keys 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday. "I am really happy that I won the match, it was very important for my mind and I gave it all I had", Halep said.

World No 1 Simona Halep claims she is under no pressure as she goes in search of an elusive first Grand Slam title at the French Open on Saturday.

The 24-year-old Spaniard stopped the rot in the sixth game before Halep quickly reasserted her authority.

After Williams withdrew from their scheduled fourth-round meeting at the French Open, Sharapova responded to Williams' criticism.

And even if I repeat it, I played the best match here.

What Halep just did to Garbine Muguruza was not only unexpected (none of us predicted it yesterday), it was the most impressive performance we've seen from any tennis player this year.

She has been there before of course and always fallen just short - most notably previous year at Roland Garros when she was a set and 3-0 to the good against Latvian Jelena Ostapenko before being overwhelmed by an onslaught of winners.

But it is not remaining world number one that Halep came to the French capital for.

"It's never easy playing someone from your country, let alone someone you actually, like, care about and you're friends with", Stephens said. "I obviously lost to Sloane at the US Open, but, you know, I feel like on clay it's a little bit of a different match-up".

After racing through the first set, Halep saved three break points in a marathon ninth game of the second which lasted 13 minutes. Sloane Stephens has dropped one set, in the third round to Camila Giorgi - who served for the match twice, but fell 4-6, 6-1, 8-6. Muguruza won 58 percent of her return points and broke six times in her quarterfinal victory.

A foot injury - and then surgery - had put her career on ice for 10 months and her ranking had nosedived to 323 in the world. I will stay chill, I will relax. She'll have yet another chance to fill the gaping void in her resume by winning her first Grand Slam.

"There were a couple matches where she was probably like, "Oh, my God, ' right?" said Stephens" coach, Kamau Murray.

She is 0-3 in major finals so far, losing to Maria Sharapova in the 2014 French Open final, to unseeded Jelena Ostapenko in last year's French Open final and to Caroline Wozniacki in this year's Australian Open final. It's just how it's happened for me.

Among the 21 matches, Williams and Sharapova have played, Williams has beaten her 18 consecutive times and 19 times in 21 matches.

But I also think Stephens has figured out the awkward dynamic of playing your good friend better than Keys has. Physically she was ready, it was more about how good a competitor she would be but she is naturally a good competitor so it came back very fast.

  • Julie Sanders