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Garbine Muguruza Crushes Maria Sharapova @ Roland Garros In Paris @The French Open Tennis

Garbine Muguruza of Spain reacts after winning against Maria Sharapova of Russia during their women’s quarter final match during the French Open tennis tournament at Roland Garros in Paris, France, 06 June 2018. EPA-EFE/GUILLAUME HORCAJUELO



By Richard Pagliario


Garbine Muguruza’s canary-colored shoes shifted continuously on the red clay as she stared down Maria Sharapova’s serve with menacing intent.


Even standing still, the energized Spaniard looked like she was going places.


An explosive Muguruza broke serve six times stomping Sharapova, 6-2, 6-1, streaking into the Roland Garros semifinals for the second time in three years.


This was a major statement win for the 2016 champion, who has not surrendered a set rolling into her fourth career Grand Slam semifinal.


Continuing her quest for a third major championship, Muguruza will surpass Simona Halep and regain the world No. 1 ranking if she reaches her second French Open final. Muguruza will play either the top-seeded Halep or two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber in the semifinals.


Winless in three prior meetings with Sharapova, including a 2014 quarterfinal loss in Paris, Muguruza flipped the script in a thorough thrashing that spanned just 70 minutes.


The third-seeded Spaniard brings her best against major champions in Paris—Muguruza raised her record to 7-1 against Grand Slam champions at Roland Garros.


The result solidifies Muguruza’s status as a favorite to take the title, while reinforcing the harsh reality of Slams inflicting major humbling defeats on champions.


The Sharapova camp must have felt they dodged a bullet slipping into the quarterfinals after scheduled fourth-round opponent Serena Williams withdrew with a pectoral injury shortly before they were scheduled to take the court.


Yet Sharapova was steamrolled today by an opponent who beat her at her own game. Muguruza moved more smoothly, served with more authority and annihilated Sharapova’s second serve, winning 21 of 26 points played on the Russian’s second delivery, including all nine second-serve points in the second set, and spooking Sharapova into six double faults.


It took the 31-year-old Russian 29 minutes to win a game.


Frequently forced to counter crackling returns off her back foot, things got so bad for Sharapova she won just five of 21 points played on her serve in the second set.


Playing her first match in four days, Sharapova was skittish at the start dumping her third double fault into net to gift-wrap the break in the opening game.


The former top-ranked pair were both intent on taking the first strike. Rallies intensified in a tense 11-minute third game. Sharapova staved off three break points, but Muguruza was ripping returns off the Russian’s second serve.


Collateral damage caused Sharapova to spit up her fourth double fault to face a fourth break point. Muguruza blasted her way to the break and a 3-0 lead.


The two-time champion used the drop shot effectively throughout the tournament, but Sharapova couldn’t squeeze a dropper by Muguruza in the early stages. When the 28th seed shoveled a drop shot into net, the Spaniard confirmed the break for 4-0.


Stamping a love hold, Sharapova finally got on the board after 29 minutes. Muguruza zapped her first ace out wide extending to 5-1.


Setting her feet and striking on balance, Muguruza lasered a flat diagonal forehand snatching a one-set lead after 43 minutes without facing a break point.


The first set was all about the first strike and second serve.


Straddling the baseline, Muguruza punished the Sharapova second serve, winning 12 of 17 points played on the Russian’s second delivery.


The former champions traded breaks to start the second set.


Then the 24-year-old Spaniard accelerated her swing and sped past Sharapova.


Banging a return right off the baseline that left the Russian recoiling, Muguruza scored her second straight break in the third game.


The Wimbledon champion backed up the break for 3-1.


Though both women are aggressive baseliners, Muguruza covers the court quicker and was more accurate in running rallies leaving the five-time Grand Slam champion looking one dimensional as the match progressed.


When stretched, Sharapova doesn’t always elevate her flat shots enough for adequate net clearance. She slapped a forehand into net surrendering serve in the fifth game.


Another flat forehand expired in the net as Muguruza rolled through an emphatic hold extending her lead to 6-2, 5-1.


Sharapova slid her first ace out wide to save the first match point, but pasted a backhand into net on the second as Muguruza wrapped up a thorough thrashing applauding the crowd.

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