Good grief that was a gutsy shot. And this one also goes begging as a dodgy bounce befuddles Muguruza. The Spaniard then misses consecutive returns to hand Halep the hold. Blimey, what a game. It lasted just under 15 minutes! If Halep wins her 1st Grand Slam title in Paris this year, that hold of serve at in the 2d set vs Muguruza was a big moment.
Guts galore from Halep on the break points. A couple of sloppy forehands from Muguruza have us at , before a topspin Halep forehand lands agonsingly in to earn her two break back points at H alep collects herself and races to with some accurate serving and a forehand winner. M uguruza getting into a rhythm on her serve, which could be ominous for Halep.
Simona Halep sweeps aside Garbiñe Muguruza to reach French Open final
A first ace seals a hold to B etter from Halep. She keeps her nerve to flick away a forehand winner for before holding to 30 with an inside-out forehand winner. We could be belatedly getting the sort of tight contest we were expecting. B oth players show their frustration here in what looks like being a pivotal game. Muguruza squanders two game points from and looks up in desperation at her coach Sam Sumyk.
Halep battles her way to a break point up advantage but slams her racket after sending a forehand long. She's then muttering at her box after wasting a second break point moments later. A stinging return then draws an error from Halep, and Muguruza has the break. W e know Muguruza possesses formidable power, but she does have a Plan B? Halep holds to 15, helped on her way by a tremendous forehand winner crosscourt.
She is absolutely purring right now. M uguruza is looking around the court bewildered by what is happening out there, disbelieving after a forehand zips past her for It's reminiscent of the beating she dished out to Sharapova yesterday. Muguruza does work her way to a game point at , but she hastily bashes a backhand into the net with the court gaping. Halep makes her pay, earning a set point with some heavy backhand hitting and then taking it with a guided forehand winner up the line. The Romanian rips off an impressive first set. A t last Muguruza gets her side of the scoreboard moving.
She breaks to 30, helped by a Halep double fault and a couple of unforced errors. H alep's really gone on the offensive over the last game or so, capitalising on the early momentum she's generated. A pair of brilliant forehand winners that paint the lines take Halep to It should actually then be - according to Hawk-Eye anyway - but a Halep forehand is adjudged to be just out, and it's instead.
Halep doesn't seem unduly bothered by the misfortune, earning another break point with some excellent defence. M uguruza just can't find her range at the moment, and after slapping a couple of errors is on the receiving end of an ace as Halep wraps up a hold to This match has a bit of a Federer-Djokovic feel, with Muguruza consistently battering away trying to breach Halep's defences. M uguruza's all-or-nothing game will mean errors like in the last game, but it also means there will be times when she takes Halep's racket away from her.
A couple of bullet forehands move Muguruza to , and a third pummeled forehand brings up two break points at Ievgueni Kafelnikov Daniel Vacek. Guy Forget Jakob Hlasek. Patricia Tarabini Javier Frana. Nicole Arendt Luke Jensen.
French Open: Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens reach final – as it happened | Sport | The Guardian
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Libor Pimek Byron Talbot. Jared Palmer Jonathan Stark. Donald Johnson Francisco Montana. Meredith McGrath Larisa Neiland. Nicole Arendt Manon Bollegraf. Meredith McGrath Larisa Neiland 3. Lisa Raymond Rennae Stubbs. Katrina Adams Mariaan de Swardt 9. Julie Halard Nathalie Tauziat. Alexandra Fusai Mercedes Paz. Katrina Adams Mariaan de Swardt. Kristie Boogert Nicole Provis. A forehand into the net from Stephens and Keys carves out a break point! Stephens has been broken serving for the match!
Could this contest be about to explode into life? When Keys pulls it off, she looks formidable. I wonder what Lindsay Davenport, the three-times grand slam winner who is in her second stint coaching Keys, is making of this. Keys will show a glimpse of being able to get back into this — but a gift for Stephens all too often follows. Stephens has a break point at her advantage which, at this stage, is virtually a match point. Keys is broken and Stephens will serve for a place in her first French Open final!
Keys is refusing to roll over despite trailing by the break but does Keys have the, um, keys to turn this around? Stephens sticks to the serving script by sprinting to Which two shots later is A longer exchange plays out, Keys mixes things up by moving into the net and shows great anticipation to put away the volley. Stephens suffered a surprising slump after her breakthrough US Open triumph last September, bizarrely failing to win a match until February in Acapulco. Stephens, sliding and gliding on the clay, is keen to make an early statement in this second set and shows wonderful improvisation with a crafty lob.
Advantage Keys, who then produces her first double fault of the match. Advantage Stephens, break point.
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Advantage Stephens, a second break point. And unforced error No 28 from Keys hands it to Stephens, who now is very much in charge of this semi-final. Clever player, Sloane Stephens. Seems to know instinctively what to do in almost every situation. Sloane wins first set In her five career sets again Stephens, Keys has made 88 unforced errors Keys is up to 20 unforced errors and 13 winners.
And that pretty sums the match up so far. Stephens could give Halep a run for her money in that respect. The good news for Keys is that her serve is still swinging nicely. She holds, forcing Stephens to serve out the first set. Another unforced error from Keys and Stephens is halfway towards the French Open final!
At all, a brutal backhand strike from Keys down the line. A netted forehand from Keys and Stephens has game point. And Keys has the sound of the ball hitting the net ringing round her ears again. Stephens, having started to look a little edgy despite leading by a break, holds. Keys holds to stay in touch. An overrule on the opening point. Stephens is tested for the first time on serve, as Keys navigates her way to break point at Stephens snuffs out the danger.
- French Open: Simona Halep and Sloane Stephens reach final – as it happened.
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Advantage Keys, a second break point. Keys has the chance to pull the trigger with her return on a second serve — and nets. She shrieks in frustration.
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Jeu Stephens, as Keys batters well beyond the baseline. Keys does have her strong serve to rely on though. Ace No 3 and No 4 get her to , and she slams down the smash for the game. Strangely quiet in Chatrier stadium. Place is half empty and neither Stephens nor Keys is grunting. Quite a change from 30 minutes ago. Currently being discussed on the Eurosport commentary: Which American do they go for? Anything Keys can do — Stephens holds to 15 as well. Keys then cranks up the power on serve, charging to , before Stephens surges back to deuce.