Tuesday's women's quarterfinal matches at the 2014 French Open exceeded expectations.
Favorite Maria Sharapova overcame another sluggish start to reach her fourth consecutive semifinal at Roland Garros. Meanwhile, up-and-coming Canadian Eugenie Bouchard dispatched a clay-court veteran to continue her ascent to stardom.
Below, we'll examine the early scores from Day 10 at the French Open.
|Women's Quarterfinal Results||Score|
|(7) Maria Sharapova def. Garbine Muguruza||1-6, 7-5, 6-1|
|(18) Eugenie Bouchard def. (14) Carla Suarez Navarro||7-6(4), 2-6, 7-5|
|Men's Quarterfinal Results||Score|
|(2) Novak Djokovic def. (8) Milos Raonic||7-5, 7-6(5), 6-4|
|(18) Ernests Gulbis def. (6) Tomas Berdych||6-3, 6-2, 6-4|
Women's Favorite Shuts the Door on Cinderella
In the first half hour of Tuesday's quarterfinal clash between seventh-seeded Maria Sharapova and Spanish underdog Garbine Muguruza, it appeared as if the little-known 20-year-old was poised to replicate her second-round upset of defending champion Serena Williams.
But just as she had two days earlier in the round of 16, Sharapova rallied after dropping the first set, playing her best tennis under duress en route to an impressive three-set triumph.
Everything was working for Muguruza in the early stages. And with Sharapova falling victim to her own nerves (four double faults and 13 unforced errors in the first set), the unseeded Spaniard looked poised to crash the semifinals.
However, it was clear who the four-time major winner was down the stretch, as Muguruza came up short in the big moments, committing 19 unforced errors in the second set and 26 in the decider.
Despite the loss, Muguruza was optimistic in the post-match press conference, per Roland Garros on Twitter:
Up next, Sharapova will take on 18th-seeded Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, who has reached the semifinals of a Grand Slam for the second straight time in 2014.
And while the oddsmakers like Sharapova to win her fifth career Slam this weekend in Paris, the Russian star isn't looking ahead, per Roland Garros on Twitter:
Sharapova is one of two past French Open champions still remaining in the women's draw. Her compatriot, Svetlana Kuznetsova, won it in 2009 and will play for a semifinal berth on Wednesday.
The woman Sharapova beat for her French Open title in 2012, Sara Errani, is also still in the mix. She'll play in Wednesday's second women's quarterfinal.
Up-and-Comer Outduels Clay Specialist
Despite bowing out of the second round of her debut French Open last year, Bouchard has looked like a seasoned veteran at Roland Garros in 2014, never panicking and playing composed points in the key moments.
The 20-year-old was facing her toughest test thus far on Tuesday in 14th-seeded Spaniard Carla Suarez Navarro, but she was up to the task, battling out of an early hole to steal the first set in a tiebreak.
After quickly conceding the second set 6-2 in just over a half hour, Bouchard played her best tennis in the deciding set, blasting 14 winners and converting on three of four break points en route to an impressive 7-5 victory, as pointed out by tennis analyst Brad Gilbert:
Huge win for Genie in the bottle to tough out a very rough clay courter CSN to move in 2nd straight semis, next up Shazza— Brad Gilbert (@bgtennisnation) June 3, 2014
Suarez Navarro, who was looking to reach her first-ever Grand Slam semifinal, couldn't believe the result, per Roland Garros on Twitter:
Although Bouchard once again finds herself in uncharted waters, there's no reason she can't get past Sharapova on Thursday and break through to her first Grand Slam final. Sure, Sharapova leads the all-time head-to-head 2-0, but the 2012 French Open champion has looked awfully vulnerable over the past two rounds.
If Sharapova falls behind one-set-to-love for the third straight match, she may not be able to climb back. Bouchard is oozing with confidence at the moment and is playing with little to lose, unlike Sharapova, who has been under the spotlight since Williams' exit a week ago.
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