Swiatek and Keys roar back to reach Madrid semifinals

tennis30 April 2024 20:13| © AFP

World number one Iga Swiatek recovered from losing the opening set to beat Brazilian 11th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia 4-6 6-0 6-2 and move into the Madrid Open semifinals on Tuesday.

Swiatek, bidding for her third title this year, broke to lead 3-1 in the first set, but Haddad Maia bounced back to break twice, saving three break points in between, to level at 4-4 before taking the opening set.

That was the first set the Pole had dropped in the tournament, but she had an emphatic response, completing a bagel in the second set, where the Brazilian failed to force a single break point and Swiatek won two service games to love.

Last year's losing finalist Swiatek continued in the same vein in the deciding set, breaking at the first opportunity to lead 2-0, and although Haddad Maia broke back immediately, the top seed won four of the next five games to complete her comeback.

Having lost their first meeting in 2022, Swiatek has now won the last three matches against the Brazilian.

Swiatek, who has won titles in Indian Wells and at the Qatar Open in 2024, will face Madison Keys in Thursday's semifinal, after the 18th seed beat Tunisian Ons Jabeur 0-6 7-5 6-1.

The 2022 champion and eighth seed appeared to be cruising towards an effortless win, taking the first set in only 24 minutes.

However, the American world number 20 fought back in the second and forced a decider where she broke twice to reach the semifinals in Madrid for the first time