Halep ‘pressure free’ ahead of Muguruza semi

Simona Halep said she was not feeling any pressure as she vies to reach a fourth Grand Slam final at Roland Garros on Thursday.

The 26-year-old Romanian will face 2016 champion Garbine Muguruza for a place in Saturday’s final.

World number one Halep, twice a runner up in Paris, has already lost a major final this year, going down to Caroline Wozniacki at the Australian Open following a titanic battle.

That loss would not play on her mind, she insisted.

“I have no expectations, no pressure,” said Halep after defeating two-time grand slam winner Angelique Kerber in Wednesday’s quarter-final.

“I just want to play as I did today, and as I did every day. If I do that, I will be okay after the match, no matter the result.”

Halep overcame a poor start to defeat Kerber in three sets, but knows she cannot afford to do the same against Muguruza, who has been in superb form so far in Paris.

The third seed dispatched Maria Sharapova 6-2, 6-1 in the quarter-finals, the Russian’s worst defeat in a Grand Slam in more than six years.

Thursday’s semi-final will also decide which of the two will end the week as world number one, although Muguruza said she wasn’t that concerned about rankings.

“It’s not that important, because it’s constantly this thing going on,” said Muguruza.

“Before, I gave it a lot of importance so that’s why you’re fighting every week, and I got there.”

Muguruza will look to improve her 3-1 career advantage over Halep, although she will be aware that the Romanian won their only meeting on clay to date, in Stuttgart in 2015.

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