Ahead of the French Open 2018 clash, the 23-time Grand Slam victor called out the parts related to her in Sharapova's autobiography as "hearsay".
Like Halep, Stephens is an incredibly talented defensive player, and she kept stretching points against a mistake-prone Keys, who made 41 unforced errors - 30 more than Stephens. And I think we played many matches.
"I will put everything I have Saturday on the court".
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Indeed, there is something of a deja-vu feel from last year's final, where she was a heavy favourite over Jelena Ostapenko, and Halep needs to defeat Stephens to bury the ghosts from what must have been an incredibly deflating defeat - not to mention her best chance to win a Slam title. I think Stephens has been too consistent throughout these two weeks. "In tennis, you never know, so I will stay chill".
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"She's No. 1 in the world for a reason", Stephens said of Halep. Like previous year, I feel Halep will make an excellent start to the match but when it gets tight, she might just falter.
Stephens has a strong 6-0 record in tournament finals, winning her first major last fall at the U.S. Open. Muguruza essentially got that round off, too: Her opponent, Lesia Tsurenko, quit with an injury after only two games.
Stephens' time may come where she enters a clash of this magnitude with nearly a right to the throne, but Halep has paid her dues in recent years and is carrying the kind of form one needs to finally win the French Open.
"This is the furthest she has ever reached at Roland-Garros". The reference to her book seemed rather irrelevant given the one-sided nature of yesterday's match - Sharapova won only three games.
There was no doubt entering Thursday's semifinals that there would be an American woman advancing to the final of the French Open.
Simona Halep is two wins away from earning her first Grand Slam title.
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"She deals much better with pressure". The Romanian has become more aggressive with age to add to the relentless defending that so often forces opponents into submission.
"I was in awe of her tennis that she produced during her time that we saw here", Croft said. Prediction: "Halep in two sets".
In the other women's quarterfinal, No. 1 Simona Halep takes on former No. 1 Angelique Kerber in a rematch of their epic Australian Open semifinal in January. "Just one of those days where I think she played incredibly well". Sloane Stephens has had a relatively easier path to the final as compared to Halep. Halep is looking for her first career Major title.
Keys made it to the semis with a straight-sets win over Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva while reigning US Open champion Stephens eased past Russia's Daria Kasatkina. Stephens has now followed that up by once again defeating Keys to reach the final in Paris.
After a timid start, Stephens found her rhythm and took control of the opening set by breaking in the third game with a forehand victor down the line.
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