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08 June 2018, 10:36 | Charlene Valdez
French Open 2018: Madison Keys beats Yulia Putintseva to reach semi-finals
The two young Americans, who are both based in Florida, will face each other in the semifinals at Roland Garros on Thursday, nine months after Stephens beat Keys for the U.S. Open championship.
Stephens beat Russian Daria Kasatkina, 6-3, 6-1, in 70 minutes during her quarterfinals match.
Whilst for Kasatkina this is a first quarterfinal at a Grand Slam, her best previous result being reaching the fourth round in NY a year ago, Stephens is a Major victor. In the upcoming round, the No. 13 seed is set to take on the victor of the match between US Sloane Stephens and Russia's Daria Kasatkina.
American Sloane Stephens is into her first quarterfinal at the French Open, having stalled in the fourth round on four previous occasions. "But I got closer to them, just asking 'Who was it?' I'm still trying to find the right person".
Once again, Keys was struggling against an opponent who is incredibly hard to break down, and despite looking fairly solid, the match looked over as she was broken again to trail 2-5. In the second men's quarterfinal, Juan Martin del Potro and Marin Cilic are locked at 6-6 in a first-set tiebreaker.
"I think everything will be normal. And obviously making the semis and finals, there is not much more you can ask for in a player". Her start to the 2018 season was blighted by inconsistency and poor form which resulted in first round defeats in Sydney and Melbourne.
"I played again one of my best matches on clay", Halep said after coming back from a break down in the second set.
Serving a second time for the match, the 23-year-old Keys let out a scream of "Come on!" when she hit a superb cross-court backhand victor to make it 40-15 and give herself another two chances for victory.
The imposing Argentine then walked over to the side of the court and began eye-balling a row of spectators. The seventh-seeded Austrian broke Zverev for a 4-3 lead with a perfectly executed single-handed backhand and closed out the set two games later.
Halep, who also lost in the 2014 final, will next face either two-time Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber or Caroline Garcia.
In the other half of the draw, two-time champion Maria Sharapova will meet 2016 victor Garbine Muguruza on Wednesday, while world No. 1 Simona Halep takes on double Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber.
Makarova played alongside countrywoman Anna Kalinskaya and Vesnina teamed up with Jelena Ostapenko at Roland Garros.
The 25-year-old had never got beyond the last 16 of the French Open until this year.
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Halep, who assured herself of retaining the No. 1 ranking with the victory, earned a fourth chance to win her first major title. She said she expected an intense match against Sharapova, and, in a way, it was - intensely straightforward and efficient.
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