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Rybakina survives two match points to advance in Madrid

Elena Rybakina has rallied from a set down and two match points down to beat fellow Kazakhstani Yulia Putintseva 4-6 7-6 (7-4) 7-5 in a long battle as she advanced to her first Madrid Open semi-final.

The world No.50 Putintseva looked on course to cause a major upset as she put on a near-flawless display to take the opening set in 45 minutes on Wednesday, but Rybakina managed to regain her composure, winning a second-set tiebreak before rescuing her match points at 5-2 down in the final set.

"It was really tough. I knew it wouldn't be easy. I was hoping I'd start better... it wasn't easy always coming back," Rybakina said.

"At 2-5, I already left the emotions and frustration and just kept playing. The momentum shifted. Yulia started to get a bit more angry and some mistakes helped me. I just kept on playing.

"I'm really happy."

This is the 24-year-old's first win against Putintseva, who had won their previous two encounters.

Rybakina will face Aryna Sabalenka on Thursday after the defending champion beat 17-year-old Russian Mirra Andreeva 6-1 6-4.

The Belarusian world No.2, who is chasing a third Madrid title, looked dominant throughout as she did not drop serve in a match that lasted just over an hour.

"I'm super happy with the level I played today, happy to get this win. (Andreeva) is an incredible player even though she's super young. Hopefully I can keep going the way I'm going," Sabalenka said.

"It's never easy if you get to the semi-finals. Elena is a great player. We had so many great battles."