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Beatriz Haddad Maia upsets Ons Jabeur to reach French Open semi-final

Beatriz Haddad Maia upset Tunisian No.7 seed Ons Jabeur to reach the French Open semi-finals.

Beatriz Haddad Maia upset Tunisian No.7 seed Ons Jabeur to reach the French Open semi-finals. Photo: EPA

South American tennis star Beatriz Haddad Maia has registered another comeback win at Roland Garros to become the first Brazilian woman since 1968 to reach a grand slam semi-final.

Haddad Maia fought back from a set down before eliminating Ons Jabeur 3-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 at the French Open on Wednesday.

The 14th-seeded Haddad Maia, who in 2019 was provisionally suspended for failing a doping test, shook off a slow start against the seventh-seeded Tunisian on Court Philippe Chatrier and will next face Iga Swiatek, who defeated Coco Gauff 6-4 6-2..

After playing nearly four hours to beat Sara Sorribes Tormo in the fourth round, Haddad Maia won only one of her service games in the first set.

But she saved the only two break points she faced in the second set – both in the 11th game to go up 6-5 – and won the tiebreaker.

The 27-year-old Brazilian started the deciding set with a double break and a 3-0 lead.

A frustrated Jabeur flipped her racquet in the air after sending an easy backhand wide on a break-point opportunity while down 4-1.

Haddad Maia won the game and served out the match.

“In the middle of the second set my coach showed me the clock,” Haddad Maia said. “I had to be patient and keep doing the shots because she (Jabeur) is a pretty good player, one of the best in the world.

“So I am proud of me and my team today because it is not easy playing her. You think you have another shot to play (in a rally) but then drop shot, winner. I always believed that the match is long.”

Jabeur was the runner-up at Wimbledon and the US Open last year.

Haddad Maia is the first Brazilian woman to reach the semi-finals at Roland Garros in the Open era. Maria Bueno reached the last four at the 1966 French Open and made the 1968 US Open semi-finals.

Haddad Maia’s fourth-round win over Sorribes Tormo – 6-7 (7-3) 6-3 7-5 – was the longest WTA match of the year, clocking three hours and 51 minutes.

The top-seeded Swiatek and sixth-seeded Gauff was a rematch of last year’s French Open final won by Swiatek in straight sets.

The 22-year-old Swiatek has been ranked No.1 for more than a year.

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