This was an awesome display from the 26-year-old against a heavyweight two-time Grand Slam champion. Stephens has now won 10 of her last 11 matches on the Paris clay, and dropped only one set in her 2019 campaign.
“Generally I'm just very calm," she said. "Everyone has different body types and emotions and whatever you may call it, and I'm very calm.”
Most tennis sages had predicted Muguruza to assert superiority, thanks to her power game’s tendency to gather momentum on her beloved Paris clay. If her three-set tussle with American Taylor Townsend in the first round re-set her compass, surely her straight-set dispatch of No.9 seed Elina Svitolina announced she had rediscovered her imperious form?
But no. The Spaniard broke serve to love in under a minute in the first game, but in the sixth game Stephens struck back to level the score and inexorably turned into a wall of resistance. Balls that would have penetrated the defence of many a top-10 player just kept coming back at Muguruza. The No.19 seed couldn’t rely on the net play which worked so well against Svitolina because she struggled to dictate play.
Stephen's next opponent, Konta, has beaten her twice this year, including on the clay in Rome.
Records don’t daunt the American. “I'm just going to go in with a clean slate. Really, like I said, we play a sport, so you never know what's going to happen on the day," she said.
"So I just put all of that out of my mind and just go and play a quarterfinals Grand Slam match like I know how to.”