Top ranking and French final in touching distance for Pliskova

Top ranking and French final in touching distance for Pliskova

Third-seeded Simona Halep dominated Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-1 on Monday to advance to the quarterfinals of the French Open at Roland Garros.

The Romanian, the favourite to clinch the title at Roland Garros, was unstoppable on Philippe-Chatrier as she clinched a 6-1 6-1 win in 60 minutes.

While three of the winners in women's fourth-round action Monday - No. 2 Karolina Pliskova, No. 3 Simona Halep and No. 5 Elina Svitolina - are highly seeded, none of the eight players left in that field has ever won a Grand Slam tournament.

"So the desire that I had in that moment made him come back and just be ready for me".

The 2015 champion sealed victory on his third match point with a backhand down the line that the Frenchman could not return. "But then I find this place where I feel comfortable and very confident with my game". But from 5-1 in that first set, it was just really, really painful and just wasn't going away.

Meanwhile, Rafael Nadal believes referees should not be too quick to punish players who take longer to prepare between points, the 31-year-old said after receiving a penalty for slow play during his French Open fourth round victory on Sunday.

"He was home, I was home", Halep said.

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"Everyone knows who remains in the draw", said Svitolina, who was two points from losing before coming back to beat 290th-ranked Petra Martic 4-6, 6-3, 7-5. Even when Halep won five games in a row, Svitolina squandered a match point at 6-5 in the tie break. Pliskova hopes to make her second career grand slam final and first since the 2016 US Open.

Svitolina led the first set 5-0 with flawless and authoritative ball-striking, though Halep was able to get her teeth into the match with a few games before the end of the set. "It's just belief. I can not say much about the tactics because it's tough against her".

As tradition wants, on the second Thursday at the Roland Garros it's time for the women's semifinals matches.

Halep revealed that her highly respected coach and television analyst Darren Cahill - formerly in the corners of Andre Agassi and Lleyton Hewitt - stopped traveling with her following a tough loss to Johanna Konta in the quarterfinals of the Miami Open in March.

"I think I played my best here this year", Halep said after trouncing Suarez Navarro.

"It's probably tough to play my best tennis on this surface", she said, noting her trouble with the footwork that can be tricky and the way clay dulls her unsafe serve. Halep settled faster and raced into a 5-0 lead before Suarez Navarro could register on the scoreboard.

An out of sorts Svitolina lost the decider in 23 minutes and Halep set up a clash with second-seed Karolina Pliskova, a 7-6 (7-3) 6-4 victor over France's Caroline Garcia.

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