June 6, 2018 / 5:36 PM / 2 months ago

Tennis-Halep feels no pressure in quest for elusive Grand Slam

PARIS, June 6 (Reuters) - World number one Simona Halep has twice been left heartbroken in her quest for Grand Slam glory in Paris. Yet even now, standing just two wins away from redemption, she says she feels no pressure.

Halep meets Spain’s Garbine Muguruza in a semi-final showdown on Thursday, bidding for a ticket to her third Roland Garros final in five years and her first Grand Slam win.

“I have no pressure. I (have) played well this tournament, every match was better and better. I had tough opponents, tomorrow I face another one,” Halep told reporters after downing Germany’s Angelique Kerber in their quarter-final clash.

Halep has a soft spot for Paris, her favourite city and home to her favourite tournament. Yet the French capital has shown little more than tough love in return.

In 2014 the 26-year-old finished runner-up to Maria Sharapova. Last year, Halep was sitting pretty a set and three games up in the final against Jelena Ostapenko before her game crumbled.

Standing in her immediate path is Muguruza, the number three seed who ruthlessly dispatched Sharapova in Wednesday’s other women’s quarter-final and is still to drop a set in the championship.

“Yeah, she’s playing fast with everyone,” Halep said of her next opponent. “So I have just to stay strong, to try to make her uncomfortable on court, and to try to play my game.

“(She) has everything, she’s a great player. So tomorrow is going to be a big challenge for me.” (Reporting by Richard Lough Editing by Toby Davis)

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