Sharapova dumped out by clinical Muguruza

Rafael Nadal celebrates winnning his fourth round match against Germany's Maximilian Marterer Charles Platiau Reuters

The quarterfinals on the other side of the draw are Wednesday, 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.

Simona Halep went from out-of-sorts to on-target against Angelique Kerber, scrambling to every ball and staying the course to erase an early deficit. "I think I've developed a lot as a tennis player".

Muguruza leads Halep 3-1 head-to-head, but this is their first Grand Slam matchup. The victor earns a berth in the final at Roland Garros, plus the number one ranking that now belongs to Halep. Despite her many triumphs, Halep seems to need extra effort to win a game with both her mind and body together.

Muguruza had lost all three previous times she faced Sharapova, whose five Grand Slam titles include two at Roland Garros.

Kerber, 30, earned a double break in the first set but Halep recovered to 5-5 only for the pair to exchange a further break before Kerber won the tie-break. "So I think that's why I won today", she told the media.

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Sharapova didn't play a point in the fourth round, because Serena Williams pulled out of their much-anticipated showdown with an injured chest muscle.

After a love hold, she snatched triple break points to find her feet at 3-4. Halep showed great fight in her quarterfinal victory, as she fought back after dropping a tough first set tiebreak and dominated in the final two sets. "After the first set I just stayed strong and didn't give up", Halep told the court Suzanne Lenglen crowd in a post-match interview.

Halep is a three-time Grand Slam runner-up, including in Paris in 2014 and a year ago; Kerber is a two-time major champ elsewhere; Muguruza won the French Open in 2016 and Wimbledon in 2017; and Sharapova owns five Grand Slam titles, including at Roland Garros in 2012 and 2014.

"I think there is a lot of autobiographies out in the world, especially in the sporting world, that don't necessarily speak about whether they were rivals or someone they competed against".

Here's another key category in which Muguruza has the upper hand: 2-0 in major championships.

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She missed several chances to go 4-1 ahead but she remained able to built the points more convincingly.

But this gesture towards her coach Darren Cahill was more than a celebratory pose, it was a sign that this was 'the new Simo'.

"I think I did a good performance today, a very serious, solid match".

It is the first time that two American women have reached the last four at Roland Garros since 2002, when Serena Williams beat sister Venus in the final, after a semi-final win over Jennifer Capriati.

It ranked among one of the most lopsided losses ever suffered by Sharapova in her Grand Slam career.

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Sharapova may have vast experience on the big stage, but three double faults gifted Muguruza - who only played two games of her fourth-round clash before Lesia Tsurenko retired with an injury - a break in a nervy opening game from the Russian.

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