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Sabalenka survives scare from Sherif to reach semis

Madrid Open: Sabalenka survives scare from Sherif to reach semis(pic credit: Madrid Open). Image Source: IANS News

Madrid : , May 2 (IANS) The No.2 seed Aryna Sabalenka overcame a surging Mayar Sherif 2-6, 6-2, 6-1 in a two-hour-long quarterfinal at the Madrid Open to reach her fifth semifinal in seven tournaments this year, here on Tuesday.

Australian Open champion Sabalenka trailed the unseeded Sherif by a set and a break, but from 2-1 down in the second set reeled off 11 of the next 12 games to improve her 2023 record to 27-4. The 2021 winner in Madrid, this result marks the second time the 24-year-old has made the last four in the Spanish capital.

Sabalenka advanced to her 15th career semifinal at the WTA 1000 level or above, five of which she has converted into titles. Ten of those have been in WTA 1000 tournaments, four at Grand Slams and one at the WTA Finals.

She will next face either No.9 seed Maria Sakkari or No.31 seed Irina-Camelia Begu as she bids to return to the Madrid final.

The No.59-ranked Sherif, the first Egyptian ever to reach a WTA 1000 quarterfinal, is guaranteed to return to the Top 50 in next Monday’s rankings after a career-best run at this level.

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