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.”