French Open Thursday: The Semifinals
Published June 04, 2014 12:13
PARIS, France - Maria Sharapova aims to stop the momentum of Eugenie Bouchard in the French Open semifinals, while Simona Halep and Andrea Petkovic do battle in their maiden Grand Slam semifinal appearances.
Court Philippe Chatrier
 Maria Sharapova (RUS #8) vs.  Eugenie Bouchard (CAN #16)
Head-to-head: Sharapova leads 2-0
Maria Sharapova's French Open and clay court résumé in recent years is downright spectacular. She is 17-1 on clay this year and 52-4 in her last 56 matches on the dirt. She is also into the Roland Garros semifinals for the fourth straight year and is 18-1 here going back to her 2012 title run. Though she is just 8-9 in Grand Slam semifinals, she has won her last two at the French Open.
As for semifinal foe Eugenie Bouchard, the 20-year-old Canadian is in the midst of a career-best 10-match win streak. She is into her second Grand Slam semifinal, having also gotten that far at this year's Australian Open. She has five Top 10 wins under her belt, including three this year - one of which came over Angelique Kerber in the fourth round here.
"As a child I looked up to her and I remember watching her in the finals of Wimbledon," Bouchard said of Sharapova. "I thought what she was doing was so cool and I wanted to do the same thing. For sure I respect her, but now we're in the semis of a Grand Slam, so I'm going to respect her but not put her too high on a pedestal, and really just battle. I will leave everything on the court, just focus on myself and try my best to win."
Sharapova won both of her previous meetings with Bouchard in straight sets, including most recently in the second round here last year.
 Simona Halep (ROU #4) vs.  Andrea Petkovic (GER #27)
Head-to-head: Halep leads 2-1
Simona Halep has had career-best Grand Slam showings at three straight majors, reaching the fourth round for the first time at last year's US Open, then her first quarterfinal at this year's Australian Open and now her first semifinal at Roland Garros. She has been in amazing form this fortnight, having dropped just 22 games through five matches, and is the only semifinalist yet to drop a set.
Fellow first-time Grand Slam semifinalist Andrea Petkovic had been extended to three sets in three straight matches, but then in her quarterfinal against Sara Errani she had her most dominant performance of the tournament, losing just four games. She has three Top 5 wins to her credit.
Halep has won her last two clashes with Petkovic, including in the 2013 Nürnberg final, where the Romanian captured the first of her seven WTA titles.
"I beat her in two sets in Nürnberg," Halep said. "But that was a year ago and we've both improved since then. It will be a tough match and there will be pressure because it's a semifinal. But I feel good and prepared for the match. I will try everything to win."
Read more details and stats about Thursday's match-ups in our Match Notes.