Mouratoglou backs Serena Williams for grand slam glory

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

She pummeled a serve on match point and raised her arms in joy before going into the stands to embrace hugs with her entourage. Halep has been on the cusp of winning Slams before, but she has cracked mentally on every occasion, losing all three of her finals in three sets.

"No expectations, no pressure", Halep said as she looked ahead to the semifinals, perhaps trying to persuade herself as much as anyone.

While Serena Williams insists she has zero ill will towards Maria Sharapova, their relationship has apparently been strained by the release of the Russian's autobiography, Unstoppable.

Welcome all to coverage of the women's final at Roland Garros where Simona Halep looks to fulfil a career ambition of ending her grand slam drought by overcoming last year's US Open champion Sloane Stephens.

To manage it, Halep had to come back from a set and a service break down, just as Jelena Ostapenko, her opponent in last year's French Open final, had done against her.

Having come close in Australia and been unfortunate to lose to Caroline Wozniacki she was a popular victor, having avoided what would have been a crushing defeat.

Halep, a 26-year-old Romanian, and the 10th-seeded Stephens, a 25-year-old American, are among the best there is right now at using instinct and speed to track down tough-to-reach shots and force opponents to hit another. At the Miami Open in March, she won the title, beating four major champions in a row. A lot of emotion, wondering am I ever going to be the same?

"She's done a very nice job of being able to put some disappointments behind her and get back to work and keep looking for improvements", her coach, Darren Cahill, said.

"There is a lot of times where I feel like she made the ball by a centimetre", Keys continued, "and I was missing it". I don't get too up, too down.

Top-ranked Simona Halep has leveled at one set-all in her French Open quarterfinal against Angelique Kerber of Germany.

Halep reads the game beautifully and flows around the court with a rare grace, and her quest for a Grand Slam title underscored her steely side. So I will stay chilled. "Of course, both she and Halep are having fantastic runs at the 2018 French Open, but Stephens in particular has been reinvigorated. I believe that I have the game to win the match". She's always very strong on the court.

Sharapova suffered one of her abject losses at the Slams since her 6-3 6-0 battering at the hands of Victoria Azarenka in the 2012 Australian Open final. We saw that in last year's U.S. Open-she came right out of the gates firing on all cylinders. Halep ended the match when Stephens returned a serve into the net.

"I wish in the future to play more finals here, because it's a really attractive tournament and it is my favorite one".

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