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Apr 30, 2024 4:50 pm

Iga Swiatek, Madison Keys rally into Madrid semifinals

iga swiatek

Both No. 1 seed Iga Swiatek of Poland and No. 18 seed Madison Keys had to dig out of early holes to win their quarterfinal matches at the Mutua Madrid Open on Tuesday in Spain.

Swiatek rebounded for a 4-6, 6-0, 6-2 win over No. 11 Beatriz Haddad Maia of Brazil in nearly 2 1/2 hours. Keys was blanked in her first set before toppling No. 8 Ons Jabeur of Tunisia 0-6, 7-5, 6-1.

They’ll face each other in the semifinals later this week. The quarterfinals conclude Wednesday when No. 4 Elena Rybakina and Yulia Putintseva meet in an all-Kazakh clash and No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus battles Russian teenager Mirra Andreeva.

Swiatek squandered a 4-1 lead in the first set and lost five straight games. She won only 50 percent of her first-serve points in that set while letting Haddad Maia save six of seven break points.

“I needed to for sure stick to the tactics, because in the first set I started making too many mistakes,” Swiatek said. “I started playing too fast. “I just needed to really get back to basics and what I wanted to play today. It took me a while, longer than usual, but I’m glad that it happened after the set anyway.”

Swiatek’s second-set domination included 12 of 13 total service points and 18 of 29 return points. She stretched her winning streak to eight games in a row with her 2-0 start in the third set.

This will mark Swiatek’s fifth semifinal of the young season. She made the Madrid final a season ago, where she lost to Sabalenka.

Keys upset No. 3 Coco Gauff on Monday to arrange her match with Jabeur. The Tunisian cruised through the first set and went up 2-0 in the second set before Keys began to turn things around. She drew level at 2-2 and both players held serve until Keys dominated the 12th game and won on her second set point.

“The key was to get a game,” Keys cracked post-match. “Once I did that, I feel like I finally settled in and relaxed a little bit. Allowed myself to play some good tennis.”

Once ranked as high as No. 7 in the world, Keys has reached the final of a WTA 1000 event just three times. Her only title came in Cincinnati in 2019.

–Field Level Media

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