Halep, Pliskova begin battle for No.1 at Roland Garros

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After three relatively straightforward wins over Jana Cepelova, Tatjana Maria and Darya Kasatkina - none of whom are push-overs - she took on the seeded Carla Suarez Navarro and put on a clinic, taking the victory 6-1, 6-1.

- Second seed Karolina Pliskova ended local favourite Caroline Garcia's run at Roland Garros with a 7-6 (3) 6-4 victory to end the French presence in the women's draw.

The 25-year-old Halep will tackle Ukraine's fifth seed Elina Svitolina for a semi-final place. At one point she was forced to lunge forward to strike a backhand and accordingly popped it into the net, her foot positioning all wrong. I for one am loving the suspense and I'm very curious to see who will rise to the occasion and take this opportunity by the horns.

Yet when the match started in front of a Suzanne Lenglen court crowd that had just witnessed men's champion Novak Djokovic being routed by Dominic Thiem, Halep looked to be going out of the tournament in sympathy with the Serb. I can not say I did something wrong.

"Obviously it's a awful tragedy in London", Murray, who recorded his 650th career win, told the crowd.

- The Serb suffered his first straight sets grand slam defeat in four years and it was the first time he had lost a set 6-0 at major since the 2005 US Open, against Gael Monfils.

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"I showed that I'm stronger mentally", said Halep.

Andy Murray, last year's runner-up, is also on Chatrier.

Pliskova's victory was slightly more straightforward, ending the hopes of the last French player in the tournament with a 7-6 6-4 win over Carolina Garcia.

Pliskova will play 2014 Roland Garros runner-up Simona Halep, who saved a match point and rallied from 6-3, 5-1 down to beat Elina Svitolina, in the last four.

Though the Romanian led 6-5 in the overall head-to-head between the two coming into the match, she had never previously beaten the Spaniard on clay.

French Open glory would deliver Cahill his third grand slam crown as a coach, but first since Agassi won the 2003 Australian Open after regaining the top ranking at 32. "I was like, there is no chance I make the final here", she said with a smile.

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This is a match Halep should win and advance to her second career grand slam final.

"Still, I think I'm able to play better tennis", Pliskova said, "which, probably, I'm going to need" against Halep.

Halep entered Wednesday's quarterfinal having not lost a set all tournament long, but quickly fell behind 5-0 in the opener, before losing the set 6-3.

No. 2 Karolina Pliskova and No. 28 Caroline Garcia also set up a meeting when the Czech came from a set down to beat Veronica Cepede Royg 2-6, 6-3, 6-4, and Garcia won the all-French affair with Alize Cornet 6-2, 6-4.

With the score 5:5, Svitolina was close to the hidden match-ball, but allowed Halep to get his serve and to continue the successful streak to five games in a row.

"It's probably tough to play my best tennis on this surface", she said, noting her trouble with the footwork that can be tricky and the way clay dulls her unsafe serve.

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