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Iga Swiatek reached the French Open final for the third time in four years after coming through a bruising semifinal match with Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-2 7-6 (9-7).

Fresh from a seventh straight defeat of USA star Coco Gauff, the world No. 1 was expected to progress with minimal fuss against a player with limited clay-court success. The prospect of facing the unseeded Karolina Muchova in the final — the Czech having beaten second seed Aryna Sabalenka in a brutal earlier contest — may also have been encouraging.

The first set certainly suggested things would go as expected, Swiatek recovering from a break in the opening game to sweep aside her opponent for the loss of just two games. However, Beatriz Haddad won the only previous meeting between these two in Toronto last August, and she was not prepared to roll over.

With Swiatek struggling with her service action and uncomfortable trusting her forehand, Haddad Maia’s awesome power off her groundstrokes, particularly on the forehand side, kept her rival unsettled. She went 3-1 up in the second set, and although Swiatek broke back for 3-3, there was little sign of her running away with the contest.

Indeed, it was Haddad Maia who looked the more confident at the start of the tiebreaker, although an early mini-break was snuffed out by an awesome return winner from Swiatek.

It became increasingly tough to call a winner as the breaker wore on, with each player showing signs of tightening up at key moments only to respond with some sumptuous groundstrokes. Haddad Maia hit the net at set point; Swiatek seemed unable to commit to a forehand on her first match point. Yet in the end, Swiatek found her form on that wing at the critical moment: a whipped cross-court winner gave her match point on serve, and she finished a dominant rally at the net.

The Sporting News provided live commentary from this French Open 2023 semifinal below.

MORE: French Open prize money — how much do the players earn?

Iga Swiatek vs Beatriz Haddad Maia result

  1 2
Iga Swiatek (1) 6 7 (9)
Beatriz Haddad Maia (14) 2 6 (7)

Iga Swiatek vs Beatriz Haddad Maia live updates, highlights from French Open semifinal

*denotes server

Tiebreak: Iga Swiatek 9-7 Haddad Maia — SWIATEK WINS SECOND SET AND MATCH

Swiatek sends over another nervy second serve, but what a backhand to win the point — that scythed across the court and beyond Haddad Maia’s reach. It’s a first match point for the defending champion, but another weak forehand is punished by a gutsy passing shot from her opponent. But this time, Swiatek commits, whipping a cross-court forehand winner to set up match point on serve. Haddad Maia keeps the point alive for as long as possible, but Swiatek crushes a winner at the net! The champion is through!

Tiebreak: Iga Swiatek 6-6 Haddad Maia

Terrific defence from Swiatek, but Haddad Maia’s drop volley brings another Brazilian roar. Swiatek is off-balance as she loops a backhand long — she really doesn’t look comfortable as the match clock ticks over two hours. Haddad Maia comes in off a good return, but this time, it’s a poor, tension-filled volley, and Swiatek gets a mini-break back off a backhand error. Haddad Maia recovers to bring up a first set point, but she slaps a forehand into the net. We’re level again.

Tiebreak: Iga Swiatek 3-3 Haddad Maia

Swiatek slaps a forehand into the net, but an awesome backhand return clips the baseline for 1-1. A chance for another backhand winner comes and goes for the top seed, but another shot off the same wing forces a mistake from Haddad Maia. Swiatek’s forehand has looked shaky for a while, but Haddad Maia misses one of her own, and it’s 3-3 at the change.

Iga Swiatek 6-2 6-6 Haddad Maia*

Haddad Maia tries to change direction in a rally, but she misses. Suddenly, Swiatek’s backhand comes to life, finishing a rally with a sublime shot down the line. Swiatek mishits the next return off the same wing, and another backhand shot spins just wide. Haddad Maia thumps a forehand to Swiatek’s right, and she can’t get it back. Into a breaker we go…

Iga Swiatek* 6-2 6-5 Haddad Maia

Good, clean hitting from Swiatek there, and she celebrates with a fist pump. Two unreturned serves follow, and a backhand miss from Haddad Maia means the world No. 1 wins a game to love for the first time in this match.

Iga Swiatek 6-2 5-5 Haddad Maia*

What a get that is by Haddad Maia, getting right down to dig out a volley and then winning the exchange at the net. Her serve is still holding firm, and she looks far from beaten.

Iga Swiatek* 6-2 5-4 Haddad Maia

More aggressive groundstrokes from Haddad Maia has Swiatek unsettled, but she saves two break points, digging deep to find pinpoint accuracy of her own. Haddad Maia has another chance after a Swiatek error, but she’s outlasted in the rally once more. She then loops a forehand just long and cries out in frustration — Swiatek looked tight throughout the nearly seven minutes of that game. Will the Brazilian regret not taking advantage?

Iga Swiatek 6-2 4-4 Haddad Maia*

Haddad Maia mixes things up with a drop shot, but it’s not really close to clearing the net. She sends down a good kick serve at 15-15, but that’s a tight backhand into the tramlines to follow. This looks dangerous, but a super forehand winner makes it 30-30 and Swiatek hits an awful second-serve return into the net. A powerful, positive point follows, the game ending with a backhand winner.

Iga Swiatek* 6-2 4-3 Haddad Maia

Swiatek finds her first serve again, but she still allows Haddad Maia to threaten a break. The top seed manages to get the job done, though.

Iga Swiatek 6-2 3-3 Haddad Maia* — BREAK

Swiatek’s backhand looks to have finished the point until her opponent digs out a squash-style forehand winner down the line. The Pole smashes the ball into the dirt from the net before a cross-court rally ends with an error from the Haddad Maia forehand. It’s a first break-back point for Swiatek, and she takes it via another wayward swipe from her opponent.

Iga Swiatek* 6-2 2-3 Haddad Maia

There are chinks in the Swiatek armour: a poor double fault is sandwiched by two thumping groundstrokes. She really seems to be struggling with her ball toss and is frequently having to reset during her serve action. However, the two first serves she manages to time well do not come back.

Iga Swiatek 6-2 1-3 Haddad Maia*

Swiatek’s forehand seems to be tightening up. She hits a brilliant return winner cross-court off that wing, but after setting up a rally nicely, she crashes her next one straight into the net. Haddad Maia holds.

Iga Swiatek* 6-2 1-2 Haddad Maia — BREAK

Well, well, well! Swiatek just seems to falter and Haddad Maia takes full advantage on break point. Can she consolidate the break this time?

Iga Swiatek 6-2 1-1 Haddad Maia*

Haddad Maia has a pretty comfortable hold of serve for the first time, dropping just one point on her way to levelling the second set.

Iga Swiatek* 6-2 1-0 Haddad Maia

So far, Swiatek has won 15 out of 26 rallies to go beyond five shots, but her second serve has been her one weakness today and it allows Haddad Maia to bring this game to deuce. The Brazilian sticks with this longer rally and puts away a forehand volley for break point, but her aim is awry on a second-serve return. Despite another double fault, Swiatek sees it through.

Iga Swiatek 6-2 Haddad Maia* — BREAK AND FIRST SET

Haddad Maia gives herself a little geeing-up jog at 15-15, but a double fault immediately follows. The pressure from Swiatek to make every point count is just relentless. She scrambles to the back of the court and promptly crashes a winner off a looping forehand, giving her a first set point. That’s all she needs — Haddad Maia goes long after again being forced back and off balance.

Iga Swiatek* 5-2 Haddad Maia

Haddad Maia’s really not happy about a line call on the opening point, but try as she might, this isn’t an argument she can win. She takes out her frustrations on a weak Swiatek second serve, but an authoritative backhand winner gives the Pole game point and she works her opponent across the back of the court until the error comes. Swiatek is in control now.

Iga Swiatek 4-2 Haddad Maia* — BREAK

Swiatek works Haddad Maia from side to side, but the ball skips up off the service line and the top seed mishits her shot. Credit to the Brazilian, though — she’s defending superbly for a player unaccustomed to deep runs at clay tournaments. And yet, Swiatek just won’t go away, and a drop shot doesn’t make it over the net.

Iga Swiatek* 3-2 Haddad Maia

Fabulous from Swiatek to turn a deep defence into attack, crashing an inside-out forehand to Haddad Maia’s left. Just as we’re all thinking how laser-focused she looks, she throws in a double fault to make it 30-30. However, a super passing shot off a running forehand and a one-two punch off the serve puts her ahead again.

Iga Swiatek 2-2 Haddad Maia*

Haddad Maia produces a big serve out wide at 0-30 to get a foothold in the game, and she closes out the next point with authority at the net. An error off the Swiatek backhand at deuce means Haddad Maia levels the scores when her next forehand is too hot to handle.

Iga Swiatek* 2-1 Haddad Maia

Swiatek holds, a fine cross-court forehand under pressure forcing Haddad Maia to net the return. Both players are really striking the ball well early on.

Iga Swiatek 1-1 Haddad Maia* — BREAK

The defending champion breaks straight back! Haddad Maia sends one into the base of the net at 15-40 and we’re level again. We’ve seen the two clear tactical approaches in these opening games: Haddad Maia will go for big shots, and Swiatek wants to keep her moving around the court.

Iga Swiatek* 0-1 Haddad Maia — BREAK

Swiatek sends a forehand long on the first point and there’s a roar around Philippe-Chatrier — there are plenty of Brazilian fans here! A return winner and another error from Swiatek and suddenly it’s 0-40. Haddad Maia then crashes another forehand off a second serve to get the break.

Here we go! Swiatek will serve first.

10 mins to go: Swiatek and Haddad Maia are out on court, which is mercifully now fully in the shade. A moment’s silence is held before the warm-up begins following the incident in Annecy today, in which several children were injured in a knife attack at a playground.

30 mins to go: The winner of this match will face Karolina Muchova in the final on Saturday. The Czech reached her first major singles final after an epic battle with second seed Aryna Sabalenka, recovering from 2-5 down in the decider to save a match point and win the next five games. It’s the first defeat at a grand slam this year for Australian Open champion Sabalenka.

1 hour to go: Iga Swiatek was in imperious form in the semifinal against a tough opponent in Coco Gauff. Can the Polish sensation be stopped?

How to watch the 2023 French Open in the US

  • TV channel: NBC, Peacock, Tennis Channel
  • Live stream: Fubo, Hulu, DIRECTV & others

Tennis fans in the US have a number of different ways to watch the 2023 French Open on TV. That’s because this year, NBC, Peacock and the Tennis Channel will split coverage of the tournament.

In terms of live streaming the event, there are also various different options stateside. The following streaming sites will all show coverage of the tournament: Hulu + Live TV, DIRECTV, Fubo, Sling TV, Peacock, YouTube TV and Tennis Channel Plus.

How to watch the 2023 French Open in the UK

  • TV channel: Eurosport 
  • Live stream: discovery+

As has been the case for a few years now, the French Open will be broadcast live on Eurosport. All the action across all the rounds will be shown live on either Eurosport 1 or Eurosport 2. 

As for streaming, tennis fans in the UK will need to subscribe to discovery+ to catch the action. The correct plan for the tournament — Entertainment & Sport — is available for £6.99 a month or £59.99 per year. You can also add the same package to any Amazon Prime account as an add-on fee.

How to watch the 2023 French Open in Australia

  • TV channel: 9Gem
  • Live stream: Stan Sport, 9Now

The 2023 edition of the French Open will be broadcast live and free on 9Gem.

Coverage will start each day at 6:30 pm AEST and run until the early hours of the morning. Commentary for select matches will come from Nine’s Wide World of Sports team, featuring Roz Kelly, Todd Woodbridge, Jelena Dokic, Samantha Stosur, Brenton Speed and Brett Phillips.

For streaming options, Australian tennis supporters can pay to catch all of the action on Stan Sport. Fans down under can also stream the action for free via 9Now, which will show the standard free-to-air broadcast.

How to watch the 2023 French Open in Canada

  • TV channel: RDS, TSN
  • Live stream: TSN Direct

In Canada, fans can catch the action TV with both RDS and TSN after the French Federation for Tennis signed an agreement to broadcast the tournament live with those outlets as partners.

As for streaming the tournament, Canadian tennis fans can catch the action via TSN Direct. 

How to watch the 2023 French Open in India

  • TV channel: Sony TEN
  • Live stream: SonyLiv

Tennis fans in India only have a few options when it comes to catching all of the action at the 2023 French Open. 

In terms of television channel, Sony TEN will show matches whilst from a streaming perceptive, fans will need a SonyLiv subscription to watch. 



Read the full article here

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