Maria Sakkari ended defending champion Iga Swiatek’s 11-match and 22-set profitable streaks on the French Open on Wednesday and reached the semifinals of a significant event for the primary time.
The 17th-seeded Sakkari used robust and regular baseline play to get rid of Swiatek 6-Four, 6-Four at Courtroom Philippe Chatrier within the quarterfinals and be sure that the clay-court event will finish with a brand new Grand Slam champion.
“I couldn’t have completed it with out my staff and their help and I simply need to thank them and we nonetheless have an extended approach to go, after all,” Sakkari stated, “however we made an enormous step at present.”
All 4 girls remaining within the discipline are making their Slam semifinal debuts.
On Thursday, Sakkari performs unseeded Barbora Krejcikova, and No. 31 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova faces unseeded Tamara Zidansek.
Krejcikova superior earlier Wednesday by beating 17-year-old Coco Gauff 7-6 (6), 6-Three.
Sakkari, who’s from Greece, and Krejcikova, who’s from the Czech Republic, are each 25. Every has gained just one tour-level title. Neither had been previous the fourth spherical at a significant till now.
And each handled early deficits Wednesday.
Swiatek, a 20-year-old from Poland who has appeared untouchable on clay, jumped out to a 2-Zero lead, however then Sakkari took over, amassing eight of 10 video games. When Sakkari smacked a backhand winner down the road to shut a 15-stroke level that claimed that set, she leaned over and punched the air along with her proper fist.
That ended Swiatek’s set streak at Roland Garros, which dated to the start of final 12 months’s event, when she dropped solely 28 video games in all. She’d solely misplaced 20 video games this 12 months via 4 matches.
However Sakkari, who additionally beat 2020 French Open runner-up Sofia Kenin, used clear strokes — accumulating 26 winners, 9 greater than her opponent — and a technique of serving to Swiatek’s forehand to achieve management.
Down 2-Zero within the second set, Swiatek took a medical timeout and left the courtroom with a coach, returning along with her higher proper leg taped up. In the course of the break, Sakkari tried to remain heat by hopping and skipping side-to-side behind the baseline and didn’t lose a beat when play resumed.