Maria Sharapova crashes out after Garbine Muguruza thrashing

Ruben Hill
June 8, 2018

Maria Sharapova, back at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015 following a doping-ban, said her run to the quarter-finals was a step in the right direction despite a tame defeat by Garbine Muguruza on Wednesday.

Nadal, chasing a record-extending 11th French Open title, regrouped and led 5-3 in the second set when rain ensured that the pair would resume their match on Thursday.

"I never gave up".

"I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds, at Wimbledon", Sharapova wrote.

When the top-seeded Halep and No 3 Muguruza meet Thursday, their contrasting styles will match up with plenty at stake.

The 26-year-old Halep has been in the finals of three major tournaments, including at Roland Garros in 2014 and 2017.

"I have just to stay strong, to try to make her uncomfortable on court", Halep said, "and to try to play my game".

The women were able to get their matches well ahead of the rain, the men were not as fortunate.

Garbine Muguruza celebrates her quarter-final win over Maria Sharapova. Nadal was serving for the second set at 5-3, 30-15, when another shower came and action was halted for the day. In men's play, 10-time champion Rafael Nadal faces 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman and No. 3 Marin Cilic is up against No. 5 Juan Martin del Potro in a matchup between two former U.S. Open champions. Stephens won that one, as well as the only other match the longtime friends, Fed Cup and Olympic teammates have played against each other.

Halep, twice a runner-up in Paris including last year's shock defeat to Jelena Ostapenko, is still looking for a first grand slam title.

Sharapova, 31, was broken in the opening game of the second set which she immediately retrieved.

Sharapova was on the brink when she netted a forehand off balance to go 4-1 down and the two-time French Open champion then netted a backhand to crash out.

Sharapova certainly didn't do that.

Sharapova never really got going after double faulting three times in the opening game on Court Philippe Chatrier, losing to third seed Muguruza to the first time in their four encounters.

"Being aggressive is part of my game", said Muguruza.

"Well, I think it would be odd for me not to include someone that I have competed against for so many years", she said, responding to Williams' barb that she was surprised to feature so frequently in the book.

Sharapova and Williams were due to clash in the fourth round on Monday but the American pulled out at the last minute of their eagerly-awaited grudge match with injury.

"No, I don't feel I'm favorite for this match", Muguruza said in her Spanish-language news conference, "because she's played better than I have this year".

First, she'll have to get through the current No. 1, Simona Halep.

Here's another key category in which Muguruza has the upper hand: 2-0 in major championships. The Spaniard won the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon past year.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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