PARIS (Reuters) - Top seed Simona Halep came from behind to defeat Germany’s Angelique Kerber 6-7(2) 6-3 6-2 on Wednesday and reach the semi-finals of the French Open.
Halep, who was beaten in the final at Roland Garros last year, is now two wins away from her maiden Grand Slam title and takes on Spain’s Garbine Muguruza next.
Muguruza thumped twice former champion Maria Sharapova to reach her fourth Grand Slam semi-final. The Spaniard was flawless in her 6-2 6-1 win and will be the firm favourite to lift the title for the second time in Paris.
Holder Rafa Nadal’s run of winning 37 consecutive completed sets at Roland Garros was snapped by Diego Schwartzman as the Argentine raced to an early lead in their quarter-final.
Nadal, chasing a record-extending 11th French Open title, regrouped and led 5-3 in the second set when rain ensured that the pair would resume their match on Thursday.
In the other last-eight clash, Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro were locked in a tight tiebreak battle for the first set before rain stopped play.
Highlights from day 11 of the French Open tennis championships on Wednesday (times GMT):
Matches were cancelled for the day due to persistent rain. Play will resume on Thursday.
Rafa Nadal, who lost the opening set 6-4 against Diego Schwartzman, broke back and led 5-3 lead in the second set.
On Court Suzanne Lenglen, Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro were level at 5-5 in a tight first set tiebreak.
The players walked off the court after a second spell of rain.
Play got underway on both courts after a rain delay.
Play was interrupted due to rain with defending champion Rafa Nadal trailing Argentine Diego Schwartzman 2-3 in the second set of their quarter-final on Court Philippe Chatrier. Schwartzman won the first set 6-4.
On Court Suzanne Lenglen, Marin Cilic and Juan Martin del Potro were level at 5-5 in the opening set of the other last-eight clash.
1505 SCHWARTZMAN SNAPS NADAL’S RECORD BY WINNING FIRST SET
Diego Schwartzman ended favourite Rafa Nadal’s run of winning 37 consecutive completed sets at Roland Garros, taking the opening set of their quarter-final match 6-4.
Maria Sharapova, back at Roland Garros for the first time since 2015 following a doping-ban, said her run to the quarter-finals was a step in the right direction despite a tame defeat by Garbine Muguruza on Wednesday.
“On paper it’s a step in the right direction. It’s tough to just assess a single tournament. I have to put a lot of things in perspective for the last-four, five weeks since the clay season,” Sharapova said.
“Coming into this part of the year, I was losing a few first-round matches, matches that I wanted to be winning. But to have had the victories I have had... obviously moving a step in the right direction. But today was not one of those steps.”
1423 HALEP POWERS INTO THIRD FRENCH OPEN SEMI-FINAL
Simona Halep eased past Angelique Kerber in the third set to win the match 6-7(2) 6-3 6-2 and storm into the last-four at Roland Garros for the third time in her career.
The Romanian world number one prevailed in two hours and 14 minutes to stay on course for her maiden Grand Slam title. She takes on Spain’s Garbine Muguruza next. Muguruza leads their head to head record 3-1.
Simona Halep clawed her way back to claim the second set 6-3 and send the quarter-final match against Angelique Kerber into a third set. The two players contested an epic three-setter at the Australian Open this year with Halep winning the decider 9-7.
1323 MUGURUZA THROUGH TO SEMI-FINALS
Garbine Muguruza made short work of the second set to seal a comfortable 6-2 6-1 win over Maria Sharapova in just 70 minutes and advance to the semi-finals at Roland Garros.
Muguruza hardly broke sweat en route to her first victory over the five-times major winner. The Spaniard, who won the 2016 French Open, stayed on course for her third Grand Slam title.
Angelique Kerber won the first set against Simona Halep 7-6(2). Halep had 14 winners but was weighed down by 30 unforced errors.
Garbine Muguruza converted two out of seven break point opportunities as she won the opening set 6-2 against an error-prone Maria Sharapova.
Compiled by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge/Toby Davis/Mark Potter