Masterful Muguruza thrashes startled Sharapova
Garbine Muguruza charged ominously into the French Open semi-finals with a masterful thrashing of Maria Sharapova.
Muguruza has not dropped a set at Roland Garros and the 2016 champion needed only 70 minutes to consign a startled Sharapova to a 6-2 6-1 defeat on Wednesday.
Sharapova never really got going after double faulting three times in the opening game on Court Philippe Chatrier, losing to third seed Muguruza to the first time in their four encounters.
Five-time grand slam champion Sharapova was able to put her feet up when Serena Williams retired due to injury ahead of their eagerly-awaited showdown on Monday but she was off the pace two days later in Paris.
An imperious Muguruza made only 15 unforced errors to Sharapova's 27 and broke six times to set up a showdown with Angelique Kerber or Simona Halep, knowing a victory would put her top of the world rankings.
Sharapova may have vast experience on the big stage, but three double faults gifted Muguruza - who only played two games of her fourth-round clash before Lesia Tsurenko retired with an injury - a break in a nervy opening game from the Russian.
Muguruza, by contrast, started with a swagger, a rasping forehand giving her a second break before Sharapova went 4-0 down when she put a tame attempted drop shot into the net.
The 28th seed clenched her fist after a hold to love got her on the board, but the aggressive Muguruza was celebrating after one of many vicious groundstrokes put her a set up.
Muguruza maintained her momentum with a break in the first game of the second set, but the Spaniard was broken to love in the next game when she netted after a rasping forehand from Sharapova landed just inside the baseline.
The world number three took that setback on the chin and prowled around the court with a spring in her step as she broke again for a fourth time to lead 2-1.
Sharapova was on the brink when she netted a forehand off balance to go 4-1 down and the two-time French Open champion then netted a backhand to crash out.