Iga Swiatek and Beatriz Haddad Maia will play in the semifinal of Roland Garros 2023. The world's ranking leader and the tournament's 14th seed occured to be the best players in top half of main draw after winning their quarterfinals today. It's the first Grand Slam semifinal for Haddad Maia, who lives a breakthrough fortnight in Paris. The Brazilian, who is the top 20 member since August 2022, has never managed to advance further than into 2nd round in none of the four major tournaments. This time, the highest ranked South American player earned her biggest career's success by surviving in four consecutive demanding three-setters to set up the clash against current world's number one. Swiatek will be a favorite of this match, as the Pole did not face any trouble in the tournament so far and plays consistently well on her favourite clay surface. Despite this, Haddad Maia is the one who won their only direct duel, as she has beaten Swiatek on hard courts in Toronto last year.
(14) Haddad Maia def. (7) Jabeur 3-6 7-6(5) 6-1
Ons Jabeur was a pre-match favourite ahead of the QF clash against Haddad Maia. The Tunisian did not face any seeded player before the match against the Brazilian, but approached the quarters in quite a convincing way, being seemingly free of injury issues, which were naggling her in recent months. Jabeur won the first opening set, which was quite a shaky one. The 7th seed was moving up into the lead two times, but has needed to break her opponent for the third time in 8th game, as Haddad Maia was coming back from being 0-2 and 1-3 down.
Jabeur was really close to get an opportunity to serve for this match in second set. Both players were much more consistent on serve, as Jabeur produced first two breakpoints in 11th game. Haddad Maia performed a crucial hold from being 15-40 down within a score 5-5. Jabeur could gain a break advantage and serve for the win a game later, but the Brazilian forced a tiebreak, where she prevailed to move the whole match into distance. Jabeur has dropped her level in third set, as she lost all of her 4 service games. Haddad Maia faced 5 breakpoints in 3 service games, but was more clinical in crucial points and took this set easily, sealing the victory with a score 6-1.
(1) Swiatek def. (6) Gauff 6-4 6-2
The odds were stacked against Cori Gauff today, as she needed a hope to break the series of 6 straight-sets loses to Swiatek, including the last year's final of Roland Garros. Today's match was not such a one-way traffic performance to some point, as Gauff was still in touch till the score 4-4 in the opening set. Swiatek has put a pressure on her opponent during 10th game, when Gauff was serving to stay in the set, and the Pole broke her to love, clinching this set with a score 6-4. The American was close to mix the things up a little bit, as she had 3 breakpoint opportunities in 3rd game of second set, but Swiatek came out of trouble and performed a hold there.
The reigning Roland Garros champion has clicked the gear since the middle of this set. Swiatek did not give any chance to her opponent since the score 2-2 and won 4 games in a row in dominant style. The Pole was leading the game, as she scored 19 winners in compare to just 15 unforced errors. Gauff has hit just 13 winners and commited 23 unforced errors, with her forehand being quite an unreliable weapon today. Current world's number 6 is still struggling in the duels not just against Swiatek, but against all the top players in general. Gauff lost 7th direct duel against Swiatek today, but it was also her 7th consecutive lose against top 10 player. Despite not repeating the final run from last year, it was a good tournament for Gauff, who will stay in top 10, losing just one spot while falling down from 6th to 7th place.
WTA rankings leader spot on the scales
Apart from the usual big stake of the Grand Slam semifinals, Thursday's matches will be super interesting ranking-wise. If Aryna Sabalenka defeats Karolina Muchova in the bottom half's semifinal, Swiatek will need to win whole the tournament, defeating Haddad Maia in semis and Sabalenka personally in the possible big final between them both. If Swiatek faces an upset from the Brazilian on Thursday, the Belarusian will be secured as the new world's ranking leader, regardless of further results in this tournament.
Haddad Maia almost in the top 10
The battle for a spot in top 10 is also interesting one, as Beatriz Haddad Maia is currently supposed to move up into 10th place in live rankings, following her advance into semifinals. Karolina Muchova equals her career's highest 19th rank as for now, but in case of winning the whole tournament and Haddad Maia losing the semifinal against Swiatek, the Czech will move up into 10th place at expense of the Brazilian. Muchova defeating Swiatek in the final is the only one scenario, which can prevent Haddad Maia for her first ever appearance in the ranking's top 10 after Roland Garros.