Today, Sharapova suffered her heaviest defeat at the Slams since her 6-3, 6-0 battering at the hands of Victoria Azarenka in the 2012 Australian Open final.
"I have actually been told quite often that I'll never win or do well because I'm too nice of a person and I just don't have it", Keys said. "I think I've developed a lot as a tennis player".
Halep completed the 30th win over a German opponent and remained unbeaten in quarter-finals matches here at Roland Garros.
1 Simona Halep won a bruising quarterfinal battle against Germany's Angelique Kerber 6-7 (2), 6-3, 6-2 to book a match against Garbine Muguruza in the French Open semis.
Simona Halep is two wins away from earning her first Grand Slam title. The victor earns a berth in the final at Roland Garros, plus the number one ranking that now belongs to Halep.
Ahead of the French Open 2018 clash, the 23-time Grand Slam victor called out the parts related to her in Sharapova's autobiography as "hearsay". "So I think that's why I won today", Halep said.
Sharapova didn't need to play a point in the fourth round, because Serena Williams pulled out of their much-anticipated match with an injured chest muscle.
Keys appears to have made more progress in her clay game than any of her semifinal peers, perhaps because she's had the most room to grow.
Two-time major victor Kerber raced into a 4-0 lead in the first set before having to rely on a tiebreak to nudge her ahead.
Nadal lost the opener 6-4 against 11th-seeded Diego Schwartzman but began to play better after a rain delay of just under an hour.
The Spaniard, who won the 2016 French Open, stayed on course for her third Grand Slam title.
"I missed a lot in the beginning".
Muguruza advanced in the fourth round when Lesia Tsurenko retired after just two games, but her recent run has still been impressive with only five lost games in her last three rounds, including a 6-0, 6-2 win over Samantha Stosur in Round 3. "If I do that, I will be OK after the match, no matter the result".
Serve and return worked much more efficiently while Kerber struggled to maintain the usual range from the baseline Nonetheless, Halep's overall level of play had been in the ascendancy for most of that set's second half - and, continuing to take control from the baseline, she immediately took her first lead of the match with a break in the second set.
But this gesture towards her coach Darren Cahill was more than a celebratory pose, it was a sign that this was 'the new Simo'.
"Keep on playing like that", Putintseva said, "she can go all the way here".
Follow along for a breakdown of quarterfinal action at the second Grand Slam of the year.
It's the first time either player has made the last-four in Paris and the two friends are looking forward to their third career showdown against one another.