Halep advances to French Open quarterfinals

Halep cements status as French Open favourite with brutal Suarez Navarro win

After current No. 1 Angelique Kerber was ousted in the first round, both Halep and Pliskova have a shot at the top ranking, with Pliskova needing to reach the final to achieve it and Halep needing to win the title.

"I think everyone knows who remains in the draw", Svitolina said.

"I think Mladenovic might have a slight edge because she's got the crowd, and she's got their energy and she knows how to use them", said the American retired three-time Slam champion.

The Ukrainian fifth seed engineered a miraculous escape against qualifier Petra Martic, recovering from 2-5 and 0-30 in the third set to win 4-6 6-3 7-5.

Halep can also become the top-ranked female player if she wins her first major this weekend after a stunning quarter-final comeback against Elina Svitolina.

In matches played in 2017, Halep has won just 47.9% of her second serve points.

"Actually I'm very bad with the memories", Nishikori said. Adding to that, in his Grand Slam career, Kevin Anderson has saved 65.6% of the break points he has faced.

The Romanian won five consecutive games before saving a match point to win a hard-fought second set and then wrapped up the win comfortably in the decider.

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After three relatively straightforward wins over Jana Cepelova, Tatjana Maria and Darya Kasatkina - none of whom are push-overs - she took on the seeded Carla Suarez Navarro and put on a clinic, taking the victory 6-1, 6-1. Halep fought it off, and struck a netcord victor that barely floated over and into the court to sent the match into a deciding set.

Simona Halep has credited being dumped by coach Darren Cahill with giving her the impetus to find the form and attitude that could well propel her to the French Open title.

"But I believed that it's gonna come, it's gonna turn something around, and that's it".

Also today, unseeded Latvian Jelena Ostapenko faces Timea Bacsinszky, a line-up which means the Roland Garros victor will be a first-time Grand Slam victor. It's not like you're going to get it for free. "I stayed there until the end, even if I was a little bit upset during the match".

There are many similarities with the Serb who also relied on an all-out attacking style and Ostapenko is unlikely to reel in her game against the vastly more experienced Bacsinszky.

"Before this tournament I was struggling on clay with nearly everything", Pliskova said afterwards.

Murray will next play Japanese eighth-seed Nishikori, who recovered to beat veteran Spaniard Fernando Verdasco 0-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-0 and Murray was wary of the resurgent 2014 US Open finalist.