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Ricky Reviews Roland Garros Tennis • Muguruza Beats Sharapova In Straights • Rafa, Schwartzman, Delpo, Cilic Rained Out At French Open

Garbine Muguruza of Spain plays 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



Muguruza beats Sharapova in straights, but still not enough time for men to finish on Wednesday


By Ricky Dimon


Maria Sharapova vs. Serena Williams never happened. Sharapova vs. Garbine Muguruza was not much better.


Two days after getting a walkover from Serena, Sharapova’s luck ran out during quarterfinal action at the French Open on Wednesday. The Russian went down to Muguruza 6-2, 6-1 in a mere one hour and 10 minutes.


In the other top-half quarterfinal, Simona Halep overcame Angelique Kerber 6-7(2), 6-3, 6-2.


Because of eventual evening rain, neither women’s match ended quickly enough for the men to complete their matches. Rafael Nadal vs. Diego Schwartzman got suspended with Schwartzman surprisingly leading by a set but trailing 5-3 in the second. Juan Martin Del Potro and Marin Cilic and deadlocked at 5-5 in a first-set tiebreaker.


Thus a jam-packed schedule is on the cards for Thursday, with the continuation of the two men’s top-half quarterfinals to be followed by the women’s semis.

Halep and Muguruza will be facing each other for the fifth time in their careers. Muguruza is leading the head-to-head series 3-1 after destroying Halep 6-1, 6-0 in the in the Cincinnati title match last summer. It was the Romanian, however, who won their only previous clay-court encounter 3-6, 6-3, 6-1 three years ago in Stuttgart.


Of the four semifinalists, two have captured at least one major title and two are still searching for their first major triumph. Although Halep has spent by far the most weeks at No. 1 in the world of the four, she finds herself in the latter group without a slam. Is her time now? The top seed is already a two-time runner-up at the FO and she is back in another semifinal following defeats Alison Riske, Taylor Townsend, Andrea Petkovic, Elise Mertens, and Angelique Kerber.


Muguruza has advanced by taking out Svetlana Kuznetsova, Fiona Ferro, Samantha Stosur, Lesia Tsurenko, and Maria Sharapova. The third-ranked Spaniard has not dropped a single set this fortnight, while Halep has lost only one (to Kerber in a tiebreaker).


It will be a rematch of the 2017 all-American U.S. Open final when Sloane Stephens and Madison Keys clash in the bottom half of the bracket. Stephens improved to 2-0 lifetime in the head-to-head series when she triumphed at Flushing Meadows with a 6-3, 6-0 rout. She had previously clobbered Keys 6-4, 6-2 at the 2015 Miami event. The world No. 10 has been somewhat of an all-or-nothing performer in recent years, frequently either going a long way or losing quite early at tournaments. The good Stephens has been on display this fortnight, with victories at the expense of Arantxa Rus, Magdalena Frech, Camila Giorgi, Anett Kontaveit, and Daria Kasatkina.


Keys earned a spot in the last four thanks to wins over Sachia Vickery, Caroline Dolehide, Noami Osaka, Mihaela Buzarnescu, and Yulia Putintseva. The world No. 13 did not do much on clay prior to arriving in Roland Garros and she even withdrew from a scheduled Rome showdown against Kerber due to a rib injury.


Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on twitter at @Dimonator.

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