Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Muguruza routs Sharapova; Halep advances

   Garbine Muguruza is making a strong case to win her second French Open singles title.
   Maria Sharapova, meanwhile, took a step back in her comeback from a 15-month doping suspension.
   In a surprisingly one-sided match, the third-seeded Muguruza dominated the 28th-seeded Sharapova 6-2, 6-1 in 70 minutes today to reach the semifinals in Paris.
   Both players drilled 10 winners, but Sharapova committed 27 unforced errors to Muguruza's 15.
   Muguruza, 24, has not lost a set in her five matches at Roland Garros. Sharapova, 31, returned from her suspension in April 2017 and withdrew from Miami in March with a left forearm injury.
   Sharapova played at Roland Garros this year for the first time since reaching the fourth round in 2015. She won the title in 2012 and 2014.
   Muguruza, who captured the first of her two Grand Slam singles titles in the 2016 French Open, is scheduled to play top-ranked Simona Halep on Thursday not before 6 a.m. PDT (Tennis Channel). Muguruza can return to No. 1 with a victory.
   Halep, who lost to upstart Jelena Ostapenko in last year's final after leading by a set and 3-0, beat 12th-seeded Angelique Kerber, who won the 2015 Bank of the West Classic at Stanford, 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-2.
   Muguruza is 4-1 against Halep, including a victory by walkover in the Doha semifinals in February. But Halep won their only meeting on clay, in the second round at Stuttgart in 2015.
   Following that match, Americans and close friends Sloane Stephens, seeded 10th, and Madison Keys, seeded 13th, will meet (Tennis Channel) in a rematch of last year's U.S. Open final, won by Stephens 6-3, 6-0. Stephens, 25, has not lost a set in two career matches, both on hard courts, against Keys, 23.
   Keys and Sharapova have entered the inaugural Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic, July 30-Aug. 5 at San Jose State. The tournament replaces the Bank of the West Classic, which Keys won last August, after 21 years at Stanford.
   The last two French Open men's quarterfinals were suspended by rain and are scheduled to resume on Thursday at 3 a.m. PDT (Tennis Channel).
   No. 11 seed Diego Schwartzman leads No. 1 and 10-time champion Rafael Nadal 6-4, 3-5. The match between former U.S. Open champions Marin Cilic, seeded No. 3, and Juan Martin Del Potro, seeded No. 5, is tied 6-6 (5-5).
   Schwartzman, 25, of Argentina ended Nadal's French Open winning streak at 37 sets. Nadal had both of his wrists taped during the match.
   In the women's doubles quarterfinals, unseeded Eri Hozumi and Makoto Ninomiya of Japan shocked top-seeded Timea Babos of Hungary and Kristina Mladenovic of France 7-6 (4), 6-3.
   Mladenovic and countrywoman Caroline Garcia won the 2016 French Open.

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