Holder Iga Swiatek was tested by American sixth seed Coco Gauff in a rematch of their 2022 French Open title clash but the world number one showed her class to secure a 6-4 6-2 victory and reach the semi-finals on Wednesday.
The top seed will take on Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia in the last four as she continues her bid for a third crown in four years at Roland Garros and her fourth Grand Slam title overall.
Swiatek has adopted a more ruthless approach to her title defence dishing out four bagels in as many rounds but the Pole found the going tougher against a determined Gauff in the see-sawing opening set on Court Philippe Chatrier.
After drawing first blood, she allowed Gauff to hit back and level up at 3-3 by crashing a volley into the net before getting back on track to take the advantage in the clash with a superb crosscourt winner.
The relieved 22-year-old pumped her fist and let out a big scream after that decisive point.
Swiatek took a tumble at the net after nearly being struck by a Gauff rocket before producing a tight hold for a 2-1 lead in the next set and dusted herself off to grab another break with a perfectly placed lob.
She settled the contest by pouncing on Gauff’s serve again and finished when the 19-year-old found the net.
Jabeur’s Grand Slam dream in tatters after loss to Haddad Maia
Seventh seed Ons Jabeur’s hopes of becoming the first African woman to win a singles Grand Slam lay in ruins on Wednesday after her 3-6 7-6(5) 6-1 defeat by Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia in the French Open quarter-finals.
Jabeur was bidding to reach her third Grand Slam semi-final in less than a year but her plans were scuppered by the 14th-seeded left-hander who battled back bravely to book her own maiden last four Slam appearance.
She is the first Brazilian woman since Maria Bueno in 1968 to reach a Slam semi-final and the first female player from her country to book a last four spot at Roland Garros in the Open Era.
The Tunisian, a finalist in Wimbledon and the U.S. Open last year, bagged a couple of quick breaks at the start to move into the driving seat with Haddad Maia having trouble dealing with her opponent’s flat groundstrokes.
The Brazilian, having already become the first woman from her country in 55 years to reach the quarter-finals at a Grand Slam, decided to run Jabeur instead.
The Tunisian then deployed her much-feared weapon, plopping drop shots over the net with Haddad Maia quickly going 4-1 down.
Jabeur served out the first set a little later with the left hander sending a forehand wide on the first set point.
Both players held serve without conceding a single break point until 5-5 when Jabeur went 40-15 up on Haddad Maia’s serve but failed to convert either.
Her opponent also wasted a chance in the next game but levelled after winning the tiebreak.
She then raced to a 5-1 lead with Jabeur sending an easy forehand long on her opponent’s first match point.