Updated on: Wednesday, June 09, 2021, 11:12 PM IST

French Open: Sakkari dumps champion Swiatek; Registers commanding straight-set wins to cruise into semifinals

Greece’s Maria Sakkari celebrates after the victory  | AFP

Greece’s Maria Sakkari celebrates after the victory | AFP


Paris: Greece’s Maria Sakkari is unstoppable and her second top-10 victory in three days against Iga Swiatek said it all in the quarterfinals of the women’s singles at the French Open here on Wednesday.

It was a commanding 6-4, 6-4 result to end the defending champions run at the Roland Garros and snapped the Pole's 22-set winning streak.

The No.17 seed, who is the first Greek woman to reach the semi-finals of a Grand Slam, also ended Swiatek's 10-match winning run that started in Rome, where she lifted the trophy last month.

Swiatek needed an off-court medical timeout in the second set and continued the match with her right thigh strapped.

The 20-year-old was no where near her level from earlier in the week but Sakkari was also determined and showed the kind of performance that saw her end Naomi Osaka's 23-match winning streak in March in Miami.

"No, I'm speechless. It's a dream come true. It's a really nice feeling and I couldn't have done it without my team and their support. I just want to thank them, we still have a long way to go, but we've taken a step forward today," said Sakkari, who was overcome with emotions as she sat down on her bench after the win, her face buried in her towel.

Sakkari will next take on Barbora Krejcikova, who survived a wild first set before she blasted into a maiden Grand Slam semi-final with a 7-6(6), 6-3 victory over 24th-seeded Coco Gauff.

The former doubles world No.1 extended her current winning streak to 10 consecutive matches, having picked up the title in Strasbourg on the eve of the tournament.

The 17-year-old Gauff was also on a streak following her title triumph in Parma but her nine-match winning run came to an end at the hands of Krejcikova,

Krejcikova fought from 0-3 and 3-5 down in the opening set, and saved five set points, before taking the 72-minute opening set.

The Czech world No.33 sped to a 5-0 lead in the second set, and held three match points while serving at 5-1, but nerves took over as she surrendered five consecutive points to give Gauff a lifeline.

Despite saving two more match points, Gauff eventually succumbed, sending Krejcikova into the final four..

"Already for me this is something I never dreamed of," an ecstatic Krejcikova told Fabrice Santoro on court.

Nadal drops set not match

Rafael Nadal dropped a set for the first time at this year's French Open but ultimately advanced to the semifinals for a record-extending 14th time.

The 13-time Roland Garros champion faced a stiff challenge from gritty 10th-seeded Diego Schwartzman and prevailed 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 on Court Philippe Chatrier on Wednesday.

Nadal was down 4-3 in the third set but won nine games in a row to seal the match.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

Published on: Wednesday, June 09, 2021, 11:12 PM IST