Paris [France], June 4 (ANI): The No.14 seed Beatriz Haddad Maia rallied from one set down to defeat No.23 seed Ekaterina Alexandrova 5-7, 6-4, 7-5 to reach the fourth round of the ongoing French Open 2023.
Haddad Maia becomes the first Brazilian woman to reach the last 16 of a Grand Slam since Patricia Medrado at the French Open 1979.
Having clinched a two hour, 48-minute victory, Haddad Maia advanced to face Sara Sorribes Tormo in the fourth round, with a first Grand Slam quarterfinal at stake for both.
Alexandrova, who had lost all five of her previous Grand Slam third round matches, was likewise hoping for her first second-week appearance. As a result, the score changed drastically as both players battled for a long-awaited milestone victory. Alexandrova led 5-1 in the first set, but Haddad Maia tied it at 5-5; Alexandrova won the set anyhow, only for Haddad Maia to win the second.
Haddad Maia seized a 4-1 double-break lead early in the decider, only for Alexandrova to rattle off four straight games to reach the final. Serving down 4-5, Haddad Maia averted a match point with a forehand winner after a 15-stroke rally - and, bolstered by that, pulled off the last dramatic twist by winning the next three games of the match.
Sorribes Tormo advanced in the tournament after she received a walkover when No.4 seed Elena Rybakina withdrew due to sickness.
On Saturday, world No. 4 Rybakina withdrew from Roland Garros due to an upper respiratory ailment. The defending Wimbledon champion made her decision before taking the court for her third-round match against Sorribes Tormo.
Rybakina told reporters that she became unwell during her second-round match. She wanted to be able to play, but she struggled to work for 10 minutes on the court.
"I saw the doctor and they said that actually it's all a virus here in Paris. I guess with my allergy, immune system just went down and I picked up something. As I said, I was not sleeping well for two days. I had fever, and headache. I think you can hear [my voice] also," WTA.com quoted Rybakina as saying.
"So, yeah, it's difficult to perform and obviously to run and even breathe. So I think that was the only right decision I could make," she added. (ANI)