?? Roland Garros, SF Preview
?? (1) Simona Halep vs. ?? (3) Garbine Muguruza
Thursday’s first semi-final at Roland Garros will be a blockbuster encounter between world number 1 Simona Halep and 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza. Halep and Muguruza have been the two most consistent performers in Paris over the last few years, Halep has amassed a 16-4 win/loss record in Paris over the last 4 years whilst Muguruza has an 18/4/ win loss record over the same period of time. Both love Paris and both are in great form heading into this match, who steps up to grab the first spot in the final?
Simona Halep’s route to a third semi-final in Paris has not been straightforward. Halep has twice been forced to come from a set down including her opening round match against Alison Riske. Halep upped her level after that initial scare to claim comfortable straight set wins over Taylor Townsend, Andrea Petkovic and Elise Mertens. Halep faced her toughest test at the quarter-final stage where she had to battle hard to defeat an in-form Angelique Kerber 6-7 6-3 6-2, perhaps a victory that will help the Romanian moving forward, a match that Halep would typically have lost in the past.
Garbine Muguruza has arguably been the most impressive of the four semi-finalists. The Spaniard has cruised into the final 4 without dropping a set and has very rarely been challenged. The manner in which Muguruza has come through her last few matches has been especially impressive, a 6-0 6-2 win over Sam Stosur and a 6-2 6-1 win over Maria Sharapova, two dominant performances over a former finalist and a 2-time former champion in Paris. Muguruza is a proven big-time player, she always raises her level and manages to find her best once she is at this stage of a Grand Slam.
It is Muguruza who has had the better of this match-up. Muguruza holds a 3-1 record over Halep. The most recent match between the pair was a 6-1 6-0 demolition in favour of Muguruza in the Cincinnati final last year. However, it was Halep who won their only previous match on a clay court a 3 set win in Stuttgart in 2015.