Del Potro sets up French Open semifinal match against Nadal

Garbine Muguruza eased to a comfortable straight-sets victory

Garbine Muguruza eased to a comfortable straight-sets victory

Halep, the runner-up in 2014 and 2017, will face Sloane Stephens in Saturday's final, after Stephens beat fellow American Madison Keys 6-4 6-4. 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.

Halep made quick work of Muguruza, the 2016 champion who entered the match having not lost a set to this point.

The Romanian underlined that pedigree with a straight-sets scorching of Spaniard Muguruza-who is herself a daunting figure on clay. Despite her first loss to Muguruza in their fourth meeting, committing 27 unforced errors and getting broken six times, Sharapova said she saw signs of hope in her form as she builds towards Wimbledon next month.

After racing through the first set, the Romanian saved three break points in a marathon ninth game of the second which lasted 13 minutes.

The American made it through to the fourth round at Roland Garros before a pectoral muscle injury forced her to withdraw just before an eagerly awaited showdown with old foe Maria Sharapova.

However, fast-forward a year and Stephens is a US Open champion, is about to reach at least the number four ranking in the world and on Saturday will take on Halep in the 2018 French Open final.

A year ago Stephens, 25, could hardly have imagined contesting Grand Slam finals - let alone having won one already by the time she turned up in Paris this year. Keys' 40 unforced errors made life hard and Stephens was more controlled throughout the match, but it was still a battle that showcased how much both Americans are continuing to improve on the world stage.

Muguruza hadn't dropped a set en route to the semifinals, but it was the first time that she faced a counterpuncher - and one who loves playing on the clay.

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Halep got off to a poor start, with 10 unforced errors in the opening three games handing Kerber a double break.

Halep will be the favorite in Paris on Saturday, given not only her ranking but a 5-2 head-to-head record against Stephens.

"It would be very unusual, I think, if I didn't write anything about her".

By contrast, Muguruza breezed past two-time Roland Garros champion Maria Sharapova in a ruthless victory.

Not only is a French Open final on the line this afternoon, but the victor today will also claim the world No. 1 ranking. In the second set, it was more equal. "I don't want to think about that.it's a different match, different situation", she said. It also was a rematch of the U.S. Open final won by Stephens last September.

Sloane Stephens of the United States in action during her semifinal match against Madison Keys, Paris, France, June 7, 2018.

Argentina's Juan Martin Del Potro serves to Croatia's Marin Cilic during their quarterfinal match of the French Open tennis tournament, Paris, France, June 7, 2018. It's a grand slam final. She's suffocating her opponents with such deep shots and bullying her way across the court.

Stream every match at Roland Garros live on the FOX+ app and catch up on highlights of any action you've missed.

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