Beatriz Haddad Maia became the first Brazilian woman since 1968 to reach a Grand Slam semifinal on Wednesday when she came back from a set down to beat Once Jabeur at the French Open.
World No. 14 Haddad Maia came through 3-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-1 and will face top-ranked defending champion Iga Suatec or Coco Gough for a place in Saturday’s championship match.
The 27-year-old left-hander follows in the footsteps of seven-time major winner Maria Bueno, who was the last Brazilian woman to reach the semi-finals of a major at the US Open 55 years ago.
Bueno, who died in 2018, made the last four in Paris in 1966 before the advent of the Open era.
“It’s not easy to play against Ons, you have to be patient but I trusted my body and tried to keep my rhythm,” said Haddad Maia.
Jabeur, runner-up at Wimbledon and US Open in 2022, was playing in his first quarter-final at Roland Garros.
The Tunisian ran out 15 winners as he claimed an opening set that saw five breaks in nine games.
Haddad Maia had never made it past the second round of a Grand Slam before this French Open.
She saved a match point against Ekaterina Alexandrova in the third round and then defeated Sara Soribes Tormo in a marathon three hour and 51 minute match, the third longest women’s match played at the tournament.
He summoned all that fighting spirit in the second set against Jabeur, holding his nerve on a fourth set point.
Haddad Maia then raced to a 3-0 lead in the decider, saving four break points to go 5-1 up and take the match after two-and-a-half hours with Jabeur’s long forehand.
“I had a day off after my fourth round match. My amazing team worked hard on my body,” said the Brazilian.
“We work hard all year to be in these moments so I remembered it when I was in the middle of the second set.”