Sloane Stephens and Simona Halep will square off against one another in the French Open Final on Saturday.
Stephens defeated Madison Keys 6-4, 6-4 to become the first American woman other than Venus or Serena Williams to advance to the French Open final since Jennifer Capriati in 2001.
Halep, who defeated No. 3 Garbine Muguruza 6-1, 6-4, is a two-time runner up.
“She’s No. 1 in the world for a reason,” Stephens said of Halep (h/t ESPN). “I think that we’ll just have to go out and compete. Somebody’s going to win. Someone has to win. Someone has to lose. Just go out, give it your all, and whoever wins, wins.”
“Another great opportunity on Saturday, and I’m really looking forward to it,” Stephens said.
“It’s never easy playing someone from your country, let alone someone you actually, like, care about and you’re friends with,” Stephens said. “It’s very difficult. I think more when I do play Madi, it’s just — on the court it’s very competitive. We are always very competitive. But it’s a little weird. There’s not as much, ‘Come ons’ and things like that.”
“I will try my best and hopefully I will be better than last year” Halep said.
“I’m happy that I can have another chance.”
“It was very nice to play like that,” Halep said. “I’m really happy that I could beat a player like Muguruza. She’s a great opponent, a great player. And it’s always tough against her. I think I played very well. … I played again one of my best matches on clay.”
Roger Federer, Daniil Medvedev Advance to Third Round of Shanghai Masters
Roger Federer and Daniil Medvedev both reached the third round of the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday.
The second seeded Federer defeated Albert Ramos-Vinolas 6-2, 7-6 (5), and didn’t face a break point, as he continues his quest for a third Shanghai Masters championship.
“I focused and had good energy, because sometimes, you know, when you travel around the globe, you’re missing a bit of energy,” Federer said (h/t ESPN). “Those first few games or matches can be sometimes a bit tricky.
“I think [my] serve was solid. I was hitting my spots and really was never in trouble there.”
Federer and Ramos-Vinolas have history, as the two faced off during the 2015 Shanghai Masters with Ramos-Vinolas pulling the upset victory in a match that still sits with Federer nearly four years later.
“All the time,” Federer said. “The truth, yeah, I was thinking about it. Watched highlights. Remember how it felt. I had my chances. I won many more points that time than I lost, so I should have actually won that match.”
Russian Daniil Medvedev was also victorious as he beat British Cameron Norrie 6-3, 6-1 in 54 minutes.
“I’m really happy with my performance, really happy with the score and am really looking forward to the next round,” Medvedev said. “It was my first match here in Shanghai after having a few weeks off, so I was a little bit stressed about how my level would be.
“I managed to get out of there in less than an hour.”
The win continues an impressive streak for Medvedev, who has reached the final of the last five tournaments he’s played in.
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Rafael Nadal Withdraws from Shanghai Masters
Two-time Shanghai Masters finalist Rafael Nadal has withdrawn from next week’s tournament due to a left-hand injury, according to the Associated Press (h/t ESPN).
Nadal was a finalist in the tournament back in 2009, and again in 2017, and was hoping to extend an impressive 11-match winning streak.
Recently, Nadal pulled out of his final match at the Laver Cup two weeks ago due to a left wrist injury.
Nadal was won 28 of his past 29 matches, including his fourth US Open title and 12th Frank Open Championship.
Nadal has also captured Masters 1000 crowns in both Montreal and in Rome.
Nadal’s next scheduled tournament is the Paris Masters, which take place on October 26th.
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Novak Djokovic Advances to Quarterfinals
Continuing to show he is officially back to his game following an injury, Novak Djokovic defeated Go Soeda 6-3, 7-5 to advance to the quarterfinals of the Japan Open on Wednesday.
“I probably played even on a higher level than the first round,” Djokovic said (h/t ESPN). “So the game is going in the right direction, that’s for sure. … So everything is fine.”
Djokovic cruised to victory in only two sets and 95 minutes.
“From the baseline, I was solid, aggressive when I needed to be and taking the ball early,” Djokovic said. “I served very well until that game when I was serving for the match at 5-3. I made some double-faults, I missed all my first serves, so I didn’t serve that well that game, allowing him to break back and come back to the match.
“But there were not too many negatives today, because I had chances constantly. I had match points at 5-4, but he just came up with some very good shots and fought hard and that’s why we give him credit. But from my side, I’m really pleased.”
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