Maria Sharapova hits back at Serena Williams in book row

Lynette Rowe
June 8, 2018

World number one Simona Halep has another chance to finally land her first Grand Slam title after beating Garbine Muguruza in the French Open semi-finals.

Somehow, this plucky, reliable Grand Slam final mainstay, Halep, is about to oppose a player who lately had nine mostly clunky Grand Slams and then an 11-month hiatus, yet the latter will be the one with the major title already.

After suffering a heavy defeat against Garbine Muguruza in the French Open quarter-finals, Maria Sharapova has hit back at Serena Williams's accusations that the Russian's autobiography was "100 per cent hearsay", insisting contentious references to her arch-rival are accurate.

Simona Halep is coming off a three sets win over Angelique Kerber that took 30 games to decide.

Half an hour later 1-0 had become 6-1 and the challenge of Muguruza, who would have taken over at the top of the rankings with victory, appeared to be fading fast.

"She didn't miss a lot", said Muguruza, who could have claimed the No. 1 ranking had she won the title in Paris. Stephens is second only to Halep in break points converted with 27.

The former world number one drilled a backhand victor down the line to hold again in the next game, the 28th seed clenching her fist as she walked to the chair.

"I mean, it's not that important, because it's constantly this thing going on, you know. since previous year", she said after a crushing 6-2, 6-1 last-eight victory over Maria Sharapova in Paris.

This time, she made no mistake.

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"I will try my best", Halep told the crowd at Court Phillipe Chatrier, "and hopefully I will be better than past year".

"I'm happy that I can have another chance".

Sharapova, back at the claycourt slam for the first time since 2015 following a doping-ban, walked on court with two French Open crowns to Muguruza's one and a 3-0 head-to-head record against the reigning Wimbledon champion.

I think it's tough to just assess a single tournament. For Halep, winning her first Slam. She is also the tournament leader in points won with her second serve (75.2 percent).

"I think it would be odd for me not to include someone that I have competed against for so many years", said the 31-year-old. "I played again one of my best matches on clay".

"I was up against a great player so I had make sure I brought my best tennis".

Muguruza's last stand came at 4-all in the second set, a 13-minute game in which she held three break points. She made Muguruza hit the extra ball all match long and outlasted her in a really crucial game at 4-4 in the second. I think she's clear on who she's playing.

"I don't know that I would call the hard road", Murray said. As she told the press after her quarterfinal win, "There were times when I had to go back and hit a higher ball, where maybe before I would have tried to hit a line-drive victor".

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