The night session in Madrid kicked off with a match that squared off top-10 player Maria Sakkari with the Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu. The fourth clash in their head to head would produce Aryna Sabalenka’s semi-final opponent. The Greek came out on top and will now take on the 2021 champion for a place in the final after seeing off Begu in a tight three-setter that took three hours to reach its conclusion, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3.
The night session on day nine of the 2023 Mutua Madrid Open provided us with a frenetic encounter. Begu bowed out on the verge of the semi-finals in Madrid in 2015 and 2016, and this time the Greek ensured she would suffer the same fate. Sakkari, who knocked out two Spaniards in earlier rounds (Badosa and Masarova), has now produced her best result in the Caja Mágica and become the first woman from her country to reach the semi-finals of the Mutua Madrid Open.
With this win, Sakkari draws level with Caroline Garcia in sixth place on the list of players with the most victories this season, and will now face a Sabalenka who came back to win her quarter-final this morning (2-6, 6-2, 6-1) against the tournament’s surprise package, Egyptian player Mayar Sherif.
Sakkari is bidding for the second title of her career in Madrid, first though she will have to stop Sabalenka in her tracks.