French Open: Garbiñe Muguruza rallies past Shelby Rogers, advances to maiden Roland Garros semifinal

French Open: Garbiñe Muguruza rallies past Shelby Rogers, advances to maiden Roland Garros semifinal

Fourth seed Garbiñe Muguruza rallied from a break down in the opening set to defeat surprise American quarterfinalist Shelby Rogers in straight sets, thus booking her place in her maiden Roland Garros semifinal.

max-gao
Max Gao

On a cool Wednesday afternoon in the Parisian capital, fourth seed Garbiñe Muguruza continued her stunning 2016 Roland Garros campaign with a 7-5, 6-3 win over surprise quarterfinalist Shelby Rogers, thus booking her place in her maiden French Open semifinal. For a place in her second Grand Slam final, Muguruza will have to face off against 2010 finalist Samantha Stosur, who would down Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova in straight sets later in the day.

Muguruza Rallies from 3-5 Down, Takes Opening Set

After a fairytale run to the quarterfinals, it was clear that Rogers was not short of any confidence, confidently breaking Muguruza in the opening game to send a clear statement of intent. Full of confidence, the American quickly consolidated the break at love to open up a 2-0 lead before her Spanish counterpart responded with a hold at love of her own to reduce the deficit to a single break. This pattern continued for the majority of the set, with chances for the receiver to break coming few and far between.

Shelby Rogers serves to Garbiñe Muguruza during their quarterfinal match at the 2016 French Open. | Photo: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images Europe
Shelby Rogers serves to Garbiñe Muguruza during their quarterfinal match at the 2016 French Open. | Photo: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images Europe

However, Muguruza earned herself her first break points of the match in the eighth game but failed to convert as Rogers held firm, eventually going on to hold for a 5-3 lead. With her back against the wall once again, the fourth seed produced the goods, holding at love to force the world number 108 to serve for a one-set advantage.

In a crucial ninth game, Rogers was able to come within a point of taking the opening set, but Muguruza refused to back down. After hitting a big backhand winner down set point, the 22-year-old reeled off another three points in a row to break back in the knick of time.

Garbiñe Muguruza hits a backhand to Shelby Rogers during their quarterfinal match at the 2016 French Open. | Photo: Eric Feferberg/AFP
Garbiñe Muguruza hits a backhand to Shelby Rogers during their quarterfinal match at the 2016 French Open. | Photo: AFP/Eric Feferberg

With the scored tied at 5-all, it was clear that Muguruza had found her rhythm. With some of the ball striking that earned herself a place in last year's Wimbledon final, the world number four promptly held to love, before sneaking away with the opening set moments later, winning it 7-5.

Muguruza Holds On, Secures Berth in Maiden French Open Semifinal

Picking up right where she left off in the opening stages of the second set, Muguruza showed no signs of slowing down; a hold at love promptly followed by a break to 15 putting her a set and 2-0 to the good. Despite Rogers' best efforts to mount a fight back in the next game, the Spaniard continued to roll, consolidating the early break to take a 3-0 lead, saving a pair of break points in the process.

However, Rogers managed to stop a rot of six straight games for Muguruza with an impressive hold to get on the scoreboard. Suddenly, the American was back in this as just moments later, she would go on to break back with a series of winners, catching Muguruza flatfooted on multiple occasions. Not long after, the world number 108 would make one last push; a hold at love leveling the second set at 3-all.

Unfazed, it was Muguruza--this time--who managed to stop the rot, comfortably holding to edge her nose in front and take a 4-3 lead. From there, the world number four would break for a third time, this time, to put herself within one game of a berth in the last four. In the end, Muguruza ultimately had too much experience for Rogers, a cool, calm and collected hold at love sealing a hard-fought 7-5, 6-3 victory for the world number four.

Garbiñe Muguruza celebrates after converting her first match point with a forehand winner down the line, thus defeating Shelby Rogers in straight sets. | Photo: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images Europe
Garbiñe Muguruza celebrates after converting her first match point with a forehand winner down the line to defeat Shelby Rogers in straight sets. | Photo: Dennis Grombkowski/Getty Images Europe

Having lost in the quarterfinals of Roland Garros in 2014 and 2015, it was a case of third time lucky for the former Wimbledon finalist.

"I feel great," the Spaniard said in her post-match press conference. "Previous years, you know, I end the tournament in quarterfinals. This year I really wanted to, you know, go through. I think it's great.

"I kept my chances in the tournament, and it's a big tournament for us, especially for Spanish people," added Muguruza.

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