Badosa reaches the semi-finals in Stuttgart and takes the second place in the world

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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):

Quarter-finals

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

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