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Sabalenka: Andreeva reels in Sabalenka for semis spot...

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Published Time: 05.06.2024 - 17:01:18 Modified Time: 05.06.2024 - 17:01:18

Despite seeming to be in physical discomfort, Sabalenka channelled her self-proclaimed tiger on the court and roared back into contention with some punchy, first-strike tennis. Sabalenka



Mirra Andreeva's dream Parisian run continues into the semi-finals following an enthralling 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-4 comeback to take down world No.2 Aryna Sabalenka on a sun-kissed Court Philippe-Chatrier.

But a few games later the Australian Open champion looked like she was struggling physically, hunching over between points and becoming embroiled in a tense series of games.

Andreeva, hoping to extend her finest Grand Slam run to date, used deft drop shots and powerful forehands to clinch four successive games.

Despite seeming to be in physical discomfort, Sabalenka channelled her self-proclaimed tiger on the court and roared back into contention with some punchy, first-strike tennis.

A tie-break was required, further increasing the tension and level of play. The world No.2 chalked up 6-4 with a ferocious backhand drive volley winner.

In response, Andreeva directed a backhand pass from low to high for a moment of magic. It wasn't quite enough and her opponent shut the door with a dinked drop shot.

Sabalenka, who fell at the semi-final stage on Court Philippe-Chatrier last June, appeared to become more at ease, clattering a forehand into the corner for an immediate break.

But the teenager certainly wasn't going to shy away from the challenge and fought back to secure a 4-2 advantage.

Andreeva's coach Conchita Martinez called out "play to win! Keep going forward!" and the world No.38 stuck to that simple message to level the match.

Going for broke, Sabalenka rattled through eight straight points to turn the tables from 1-2 to 3-2 in the decider. However, Andreeva showed feel and anticipation beyond her years to contain the Sabalenka firepower.

The pressure eventually told for the No.2 seed, Andreeva capping her career-best result with a sumptuous backhand lob. Cue a look of disbelief and tears from the young talent.

In just a fifth Grand Slam main draw, Andreeva is into a first semi-final – at 17-year-old she is the youngest women's Roland-Garros semi-finalist since Martina Hingis (16) back in 1997.

Her 43 winners, including five lobs and 12 drop shots, enabled the teenager to find the answers to the Sabalenka question that has befuddled so many of her fellow players.

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