Aryna Sabalenka battles back to reach fifth semi-final of the season at Madrid Open
Aryna Sabalenka recovered from a slow start to beat Mayar Sherif 2-6 6-2 6-1 and reach her fifth semi-final of the season at the Madrid Open. Sherif had defeated Caroline Garcia and Elise Mertens to become the first Egyptian player to reach the quarter-finals of a WTA 1000 event - the highest tier of the women's tour. And she looked like she might claim her biggest scalp yet when she led the Australian Open champion by a set and a break. But Sabalenka responded emphatically, winning 11 of the last 12 games to wrap up victory and a spot in the last four. She has only failed to make the final twice at tournaments in 2023 so far, and the Belarusian said: "It was a very tough match, she played unbelievable tennis. "I was just trying to keep fighting, keep trying to find my rhythm. I did it well in the second set so I'm super happy that I was able to turn around this game."
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