Sloane Stephens, Simona Halep advance to play for French Open 2018 title

This will be the first match between the women since Stephens humiliated her close friend Keys in the final of last year's US Open.

Keys has reached the quarter-finals in her last three consecutive Grand Slams as the 23-year-old continues to make strides ahead at the highest level.

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.

Stephens can join Serena Williams and Jennifer Capriati as the only American women to win a French Open title since 1987.

Muguruza ended Sharapova's campaign in a ruthless display, while Halep won a three-setter against Angelique Kerber to progress through to Thursday's semi-finals.

It was not enough, however, as Wimbledon champion Muguruza bulldozed her way through the rest of the set to secure her place in the semi-finals.

"I will try my best", Halep told the crowd at Court Philippe Chatrier, "and hopefully I will be better than past year". "I think that we'll just have to go out and compete".

"It's always hard to play someone from your country, and such a good friend, so I'm pleased to get through that", said Stephens.

Muguruza is 3-0 in career grand slam semifinal matches.

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Muguruza was punishing the former world No.1's second serve and broke again at the start of the second set, although this time Sharapova hit straight back. "Well, she's number one", she said.

Halep is aware she can not afford another poor start on Thursday against 24-year-old Muguruza who has been tested just once in Paris and that was in the first round where fellow former victor Svetlana Kuznetsova pushed her to a tiebreak in the first set.

She has bounced back from disappointment after disappointment in the Grand Slam tournaments, where reputations and legacies are made and unmade.

The Romanian arrived in Paris as the top seed and the leading player on the WTA Tour this year, hoping this would be the moment she finally lands her first major.

"It's really tough to get any ball by her, but especially today, she was neutralizing so well".

"Yes, well, I thought that after nine years I will play a different one, not Rafa or Roger", said del Potro, otherwise so deliriously happy that he described "thoughts that are deeper maybe that shook my legs a little bit more". But she failed to convert any of those, and Halep held there, before breaking at love to end it.

Stephens lost her serve for the first time against Keys when serving for the match at 5-2. I stayed focused, dnd I didn't give up, which is the most important thing in my game.

"I think that I have done really well, but I'd like to keep going", she said.

"She was the aggressive one", Sharapova said.

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