Spanish tennis star Paula Badosa (AFP)
Spaniard Paula Badosa will move up to No. 2 in the world after reaching the semi-finals of the WTA tournament in Stuttgart on Friday with a hard-fought win over Ons Jabeur.
“This victory means more to me than just a game – it’s my best ranking ever,” an emotional Badosa said.
“I was going to look for him in the last tournaments, but I didn’t get him and I fought a lot. That was my goal and I’m really happy.”
After winning a marathon opening set lasting over an hour, the Spaniard stumbled in the second before rallying to seal a 7-6 (11/9), 1-6, 6-3 win.
“It was high standards on both sides, either of us could have won,” Badosa added.
“I was really tired, I hurt everywhere, but I’m happy to have fought until the last moment.”
In Saturday’s semi-final, Badosa will face Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka who beat Estonian Anett Kontaveit 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 in the quarter-finals.
The result ended Kontaveit’s 22-game indoor winning streak.
Later on Friday, world number one Iga Swiatek takes on US Open champion Emma Raducanu for a spot in the semifinals.
The winner will play Liudmila Samsonova, who says she is playing the best clay court tennis of her career.
The 23-year-old is yet to drop a set en route to the last four in Stuttgart as she beat German wild card Laura Siegemund 7-5, 6-3 in the quarter-finals.
Results from the WTA tournament in Stuttgart on Friday (x denotes ranking – players representing Russia and Belarus are banned from competing under the name or flag of Russia or Belarus until further notice):
Aryna Sabalenka vs Anet Kontaveit (EST x5) 6-4, 3-6, 6-1
Paula Badosa (ESP x2) vs Ons Jabeur (TUN x7) 7-6 (11/9), 1-6, 6-3
Liudmila Samsonova v Laura Siegemund (GER) 7-5, 6-3