'I think once I get going in a tournament, I'm pretty consistent, which is good.
The 24-year-old improved in the early stages of the second set, holding serve for the first time and backing it up with a break on her way to a 3-1 lead. "When you're writing an autobiography, I don't think there is any reason to write anything that's not true", said Sharapova after losing 6-2 6-1. "It's been a little bit longer for me to get used to it, but I feel like every year I get more comfortable". "My head won it".
Halep will be the favorite in Paris on Saturday, given not only her ranking but a 5-2 head-to-head record against Stephens.
Schwartzman took the opening set 6-4, ending Nadal's streak of 37 consecutive completed sets at Roland Garros before rain arrived on Wednesday.
Muguruza hadn't dropped a set en route to the semifinals, but it was the first time that she faced a counterpuncher - and one who loves playing on the clay. Nadal was serving for the second set at 5-3, 30-15, when another shower came and action was halted for the day.
Otherwise, he stayed steady in a 7-6 (5), 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 win over No. 3 Marin Cilic in a matchup between two past U.S. Open champions.
Wimbledon champion Garbine Muguruza was swatted aside by the top seed in devastatingly ruthless fashion, while Stephens looked comfortable throughout as she beat compatriot Madison Keys in a rematch of the US Open final.
That's a fundamental clay-court lesson, but an important one for an instinctive power player like Keys.
While that match lasted two hours and 14 minutes, Sharapova was on her way home after 70 minutes.
Romanian Halep's best chance came previous year when she was a set and 3-0 ahead against unseeded Latvian Jelena Ostapenko, only to suffer a heartbreaking defeat. American Sloane Stephens typically finds herself playing her best tennis when the stakes are the highest. I missed the opportunities at 4-4 in the second set.
Sharapova certainly didn't do that. She said: "I have more experience now".
Halep weathered the storm and broke back for 4-4 before winning a marathon ninth game in which she saved three break points to pile the pressure on the third seed. And I think we played many matches. "She's the favourite", said Muguruza. Halep would be the first Romanian major champion since Ruzici - who is now her agent - won the 1978 French Open.
Halep feels better equipped to finally break her duck in Paris. That includes the French Open in 2014 and 2017, and the Australian Open in January.
She won the US Open in September on a ranking of 83 and just 69 days after returning to the tour following her near year-long absence.
Like Sharapova, Halep trailed 4-0 at the outset.
That was sufficient in a set where 13th seeded Keys committed 23 unforced errors.
But Halep figured things out. Her shots were very, very deep and very aggressive constantly.
As in NY nine months ago, it was a mistake-riddled performance from Keys, who committed 41 unforced errors to Stephens' 11.
"Actually, I want to forget those games", Halep said with a smile.
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