(MENAFN) In the potential clash for the French Open championship, not only the prestigious trophy but also the coveted No. 1 ranking would be on the line. However, before reaching the final, both players, Iga Swiatek and Aryna Sabalenka, have work to do.
In the semifinals scheduled for Thursday, Belarusian player Sabalenka, ranked No. 2, will face unseeded Karolina Muchova from the Czech Republic. On the other side, top-ranked Swiatek of Poland will take on the challenge posed by Brazil's Beatriz Haddad Maia, seeded at No. 14.
Sabalenka has displayed an impeccable record in Grand Slam tournaments in 2023, having claimed her maiden major title at the Australian Open earlier in January. However, recent attention surrounding her has been primarily focused on non-tennis matters related to her country's involvement in supporting Russia during the Ukraine invasion. After being asked about this situation during two press conferences, Sabalenka opted to skip the subsequent two post-match media sessions. However, following her quarterfinal victory, she finally broke her silence and addressed the media after almost a week of absence.
Meanwhile, Swiatek has enjoyed a dominant campaign at Roland Garros this year as she strives for her third triumph on the red clay and fourth Grand Slam title overall. She has yet to drop a single set in the tournament leading up to her upcoming match against Haddad Maia. The Brazilian player, who served a 10-month doping ban after failing a test in 2019, had never advanced beyond the second round in a major tournament until now, making her unexpected presence in the semifinals all the more remarkable.
With the stakes high and the potential clash between Swiatek and Sabalenka looming in the final, the semifinal matchups promise intense battles and thrilling displays of tennis prowess. The opportunity to secure the No. 1 ranking and add another accolade to their already impressive careers will undoubtedly fuel the determination and hunger of these talented athletes. Tennis enthusiasts around the world eagerly await the outcome of the French Open semifinals, as the path to the championship and the quest for glory near their climactic conclusion.
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