World No. 1 Simona Halep won a bruising quarterfinal battle against Germany's Angelique Kerber 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-2 to book a place against Garbine Muguruza in the French Open semis.
Top-ranked Simona Halep has rallied past Angelique Kerber 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-2 to reach the French Open semifinals.
"I have actually been told quite often that I'll never win or do well because I'm too nice of a person and I just don't have it", Keys said.
'And I think we played many matches. "(It) shows me that I have enough patience, I have enough power inside to stay calm", Halep said.
A dominant win over Karolina Pliskova in the third round had people seeing the Maria Sharapova of old, but she didn't look anything like that Wednesday against Garbine Muguruza.
"After the first set I just stayed strong, I did not give up at all", said Halep, who is still chasing a maiden grand slam.
Former number one Muguruza takes on current incumbent Halep on Thursday with the victor to be assured of the top ranking as well as a place in the Roland Garros final. Despite her many triumphs, Halep seems to need extra effort to win a game with both her mind and body together. She double-faulted three times in the opening game, part of her 27 unforced errors.
"I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds, at Wimbledon", Sharapova wrote.
Sharapova and Williams were due to clash in the fourth round on Monday but the American pulled out at the last minute of their eagerly-awaited grudge match with injury. "Plus the extra tension you have in Roland Garros, things got even worse", she said.
That might very well have been a relief to 10-time champion Rafael Nadal, who was not at his best and dropped a French Open set for the first time since 2015.
Nadal lost the opener 6-4 against 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman but began to play better after a rain delay of just under an hour. Her return has been flawless most of this tournament and if Halep is going to make a high number of unforced errors again, she stands no chance.
Keys made it to the semis with a straight-sets win over Kazakhstan's Yulia Putintseva while reigning US Open champion Stephens eased past Russia's Daria Kasatkina.
Muguruza's opponent Lesia Tsurenko lasted just two games before retiring hurt.
Kerber is a two-time Grand Slam champion.
But this gesture towards her coach Darren Cahill was more than a celebratory pose, it was a sign that this was 'the new Simo'. "One day I will make it".
Here's another key category in which Muguruza has the upper hand: 2-0 in major championships.
Muguruza, by contrast, started with a swagger, a rasping forehand giving her a second break before Sharapova went 4-0 down when she put a tame attempted drop shot into the net.
The No. 3-seeded Muguruza had lost all three previous meetings against Sharapova, who won two of her five Grand Slam titles at Roland Garros.