Swiatek’s clay mastery prevails over Haddad Maia in Roland Garros semifinals

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In the second semifinal showdown at Roland Garros 2023, the two-time champion Iga Swiatek showcased her mastery on clay as she defeated first-time Grand Slam semifinalist Beatriz Haddad Maia, 6-2 7-6(7). Not only did Swiatek secure her spot in the championship match, but she also solidified her reign as the world No.1.

Iga Swiatek Roland Garros 2023

Entering the semifinal with a positive 1-0 head-to-head record against Swiatek, Haddad Maia burst onto the court with an emphatic love break, catching everyone by surprise. The Brazilian’s remarkable start hinted at a potential upset, but Swiatek quickly regrouped and countered with a stunning break of her own. From that point on, Swiatek dominated proceedings, capturing four consecutive games and comfortably clinching the first set.

Determined to seize the opportunity of a major semifinal, the world No.14 Haddad Maia displayed her resilience and tenacity. Undeterred by the scoreline, she continued to exude energy and confidence throughout the match. In the second set, Haddad Maia once again found herself in the lead, breaking Swiatek’s serve and establishing a 3-1 advantage. However, her joy was short-lived as the Polish powerhouse fought back, leveling the set at 3-3.

The intensity continued to rise as Haddad Maia refused to back down, pushing Swiatek to the brink in the Pole’s following two service games. The Brazilian failed to convert four break points, but with the scoreline standing at 5-5 in the second set, the match was far from decided.

After a grueling 69 minutes of intense battle in the second set, the tension reached its zenith as the set ventured into a high-stakes tiebreak. For a moment, Swiatek looked concerned, and for a reason. Hungry for victory, Haddad Maia earned a set point at 6-5, but couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity, sending a wave of relief through Swiatek’s camp. Soon afterwards, the Brazilian saved a match point, executing a courageous winner down the line, but Swiatek converted her second match point in the 85-minute second set.

The 2020 and 2022 Roland Garros winner Swiatek will face unseeded Karolina Muchova in the final, as the Czech battled past second seed Aryna Sabalenka in a thrilling three-setter earlier on Thursday. Sabalenka’s elimination in the semifinals and Swiatek’s run to the final mean that the Pole will keep her top ranking which she has so far held for 62 consecutive weeks.


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