Tuesday's action in Foro Italico did not contain as many matches as all the days before, but the quality of emotions was extremely high in three exciting three-setters out of 4 matches played today in the WTA competition.
The line-up of quarterfinals has needed to be completed after weather interruption on the day before. Iga Swiatek has expectedly defeated Donna Vekic to set up the blockbuster match-up against Elena Rybakina in the quarters. The Croatian gave much more difficult conditions for Swiatek in compare to the previous opponents of the Pole in this tournament. Vekic took away 7 games from Swiatek which can be described as a decent result on the favourite surface of the world's ranking leader. Swiatek moved up front after gaining a break in 4th game of the opening set, but Vekic managed to come back leveled on serve in 7th game. Swiatek regained the advantage in the following game and clinched the first set with a score 6-3. The second one was a good quality and consistent performance from both, as no breakpoints appeared until 9th game, when Swiatek has finally found the way to break her opponent and clinched the victory in the following game despite defending 2 breakpoints while serving for the set. Swiatek will be a confident favorite ahead of the match against Rybakina considering how comfortable does the Pole feel herself on the clay in Foro Italico. The Kazakh can be never written off though, as she won two latest competitive meetings betweeen both in straight sets.
Paula Badosa advanced to her first WTA 1000 quarterfinals this season after defeating Karolina Muchova in a long 3:05 hours battle, won by the Spaniard 6-4 6-7(4) 6-2. The second set was a highlight of whole the match. Muchova who comes back to the top 50 of WTA rankings after the break caused by the injuries last year, needed to turn over this match after losing the opening set. The Czech was leading 4-2 there, but Badosa managed to win 4 games in a row to grab this set into her account. Muchova was also in the front foot from the start of the second one, leading with a break three times, but Badosa leveled the score each time and forced the tiebreak. This time, the Czech has not slipped this set away and moved whole the match into distance after the battle in second set lasted 82 minutes. Badosa started the third set much better than both preceeding ones and was in the control from the start to finish.
Veronika Kudermetova reaches out her second consecutive WTA 1000 semifinal after eliminating Qinwen Zheng in the first quarterfinal match, winning 3-6 6-3 6-4. This match had no clear favorite and it has even looked like the Chinese can prevail there after taking the opening set. Zheng has impressed the fans with some glamurous shots and gained the decisive break in the 8th game to take this set. The play has changed since the middle of second set, as the Russian started to put more pressure on Zheng. Kudermetova has broken her opponent 4 times in a row since the score 3-2 in the second set, which gave her the win in second set and considerable advantage of double break in the third. Zheng has tried to come back from this, as she cut the gap by one break in 4th game, but that was all as Kudermetova has duly took care of her service games till the end and moved into the semis after 2,5 hours of battle which was dominated by her since the second set.
Despite really good matches being played this day before, the true highlight not just of this tournament, but one of the most exciting matches in the 2023 season so far, has been played in the evening between Anhelina Kalinina and Beatriz Haddad Maia. The Ukrainian has earned her best career's success by advancing in to the WTA 1000 semis after 3:41 hours of battles against the tournament's 12th seed, defeating the Brazilian 6-7(2) 7-6(6) 6-3. Kalinina, who won both the previous meetings against her opponent, started really well by leading 4-0 in the opening set, but slipped the advantage away to lose it eventually after the tiebreak, where Haddad Maia has completed her comeback with a comfortable 7-2 win. The Ukrainian was also on the front foot in the second set, as she was leading with a break twice and had even two setpoints within Haddad Maia's serve, but the tiebreak was needed again. Kalinina was practically two points away from losing this match, but prevailed to win the tight battle in the 13th game and forced the decider after two exhausting sets, which has already took more than 2.5 hours in summary. Third set started differently than the two previous ones, as Haddad Maia moved into the 3-0 lead with a single break advantage. Kalinina did not give up though, and performed a huge come back to win 6 games in a row and seal the victory.
The winner of this thrilling match has shared her thoughts in the post-match interview: "It feels great, but I can not feel my body or my legs. I think it was the longest match of my career. Thanks to my coach and thanks to my fitness coach because this win is not my win. My part is 50 percent and 50 percent is my fitness coach. I started really well and I think it was my weakness because I was a little bit relaxed. Beatriz started to play really great, stepping in, playing really aggressive, but I was just waiting after 5-2. I started aggressive but I started to lose my game. I am sorry but if you are starting to push the ball, it is not going to work."