Halep: 'I will stay chill' ahead of French Open final

09 June, 2018, 21:34 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • American Tennis Player Sloane Stephens

It's no secret that Madison Keys has had a complicated relationship with clay over the years but the 23-year-old American is probably developing positive feelings about the red dirt now that she has made it into the Roland Garros quarter-finals for the first time. I lost to some great players - (Karolina) Pliskova, (Caroline) Garcia.

"I'm very happy to win in straight sets".

However, for the first time, Stephens wobbled slightly, losing her serve when serving for victory, and the pressure was back on as Keys held for 5-4; however, there was no mistake the second time around, with the tenth seed safely reaching the final.

She improved in the second set, breaking early on only to be pegged back at 4-4 before Halep held a marathon ninth game and broke for a 6-1 6-4 win.

"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.

"I think that we'll just have to go out and compete".

The quarterfinals on the other side of the draw are today, involving four women who have spent time at No. 1: Simona Halep, who now leads the WTA rankings, against No. 12 seed Angelique Kerber, and No. 3 Garbine Muguruza against No. 28 Maria Sharapova.


Keys appears to have made more progress in her clay game than any of her semifinal peers, perhaps because she's had the most room to grow. "I think today is a ideal example of what I have been trying to do, and I think it showed today". But more than that, I think I served out the match really well.

Madison Keys hasn't dropped a set in this French Open, partly because she hasn't lost her cool when opportunities slip through her strings.

"I think life came at me fast after the US Open and just kind of regrouping and getting myself together, which I did well, and I started playing better and better", she explained. "I think there's a difference between being intense and wanting it and fighting and just not being nice, so that's something that I have always stayed true to", the 13th seed explained.

Trailing 6-4, 4-1 against Dominic Thiem on Court Philippe Chatrier, second-seeded Alexander Zverev called a trainer to receive treatment on his left thigh at the changeover. Keys predicted, "I'm going to have to be the one to try to open up the court and go for my shots".

The imposing Argentine then walked over to the side of the court and began eye-balling a row of spectators.

She won the US Open in September on a ranking of 83 and just 69 days after returning to the tour following her near year-long absence. It's the first semifinal between a pair of American women at Roland Garros since Serena Williams beat Jennifer Capriati on her way to the 2002 title. "It's so good for me, for my team, for my family".

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