Svitolina wins in Rome after Halep falters in final set

Muguruza beats Venus to reach Italian Open semis

Muguruza beats Venus to reach Italian Open semis

In other action, Romanian sixth seed Simona Halep swept into the semi-finals of the Italian Open in Rome by beating Estonian qualifier Anett Kontaveit 6-2 6-4 on Friday.

"Sorry guys for third set", Halep told the crowd. It's safe to say Halep has found her groove, as she's dropped just one set this tournament and is back to playing with that energy and confidence.

It was a tour-best fourth title this year for Svitolina and the most prestigious trophy of her young career. Halep has won her last four final appearances overall. However, an comeback thoughts that Halep might have had were promptly shut off by Svitolina who closed out the game with a cross-court forehand.

Muguruza used a solid forehand to power through the first set during which she hit just eight unforced errors but gave up 20 in the second as Williams forced a decider. "It was a little tough for me to get through but Elina played great". Its no secret this has been the breakout year for the 22-year-old Svitolina, and as long as she's aggressive on the return, she's one of the more unsafe players on tour. "I'm very happy in the way I played the three matches".

Muguruza had not won a clay court match all season until Rome following first round losses in Stuttgart and Madrid. The Ukrainian tennis player won the Taiwan Open, the Dubai Tennis Championship and the Istanbul Open and will be determined to add a fourth title to her name on Sunday (May 21). If she wins the title, she will overtake Svetlana Kuznetsova, Johanna Konta and Dominika Cibulkova to go up to No. 6. However, considering her consistency and the state of the field, Svitolina has to be deemed one of the top choices at the French Open, behind Halep (if healthy) and past champions Svetlana Kuznetsova and Garbine Muguruza.

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