wnol.info June 23 2018


Muguruza says top ranking no longer 'that important'

June 23 2018, 04:43 | Van Peters

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"Coming into this part of the year, I was losing a few first-round matches, matches that I wanted to be winning, of course - but to have had the victories that I have had, to have the results that I have, obviously moving a step in the right direction".

Maria Sharapova's first French Open in three years came to a muted conclusion Wednesday.

The former world number one drilled a backhand victor down the line to hold again in the next game, the 28th seed clenching her fist as she walked to the chair.

In the victory, Muguruza won 72 percent of her first serve points and 46 percent of her second serve points. Halep pointed her right index finger at her temple when she eventually completed a 6-7 (2) 6-3 6-2 comeback to reach the semifinals, too.

Kerber found decent length on her forehand, regularly putting Halep close to the baseline, and went easily 4-0 up.

Halep has only dropped one set en route to the last eight, back at the start of the tournament when she lost the opening set of her first-round clash with American Alison Riske. In Open Era, No.1 seed has claimed the Roland Garros title on 18 occasions and finished runner-up 13 times. This time, she needed only 70 minutes to eliminate Sharapova and dominated her with superb returning, breaking the former No. 1 a half-dozen times.

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Sharapova didn't need to play a point in the fourth round, because Serena Williams pulled out of their much-anticipated match with an injured chest muscle.

The signs were ominous when the five-times Grand Slam champion coughed up three nervy double-faults in the opening game.

Despite her first loss to Muguruza in their fourth meeting, committing 27 unforced errors and getting broken six times, Sharapova said she saw signs of hope in her form as she builds towards Wimbledon next month. Muguruza sensed weakness and pounced for a 4-0 lead. That includes the French Open in 2014 and 2017, and the Australian Open in January.

When the top-seeded Halep and No 3 Muguruza meet Thursday, their contrasting styles will match up with plenty at stake. Halep is 3-2 in career grand slam semifinal matches.

"I'm also very realistic, and, you know, looking back at where I started, 40, 50 in the world, I don't know what I'll be after this event".



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