Sakkari stuns defending champion Swiatek in Roland Garros quarterfinals


Playing her first Grand Slam quarterfinal, Maria Sakkari of Greece beat defending champion Iga Swiatek 6-4 6-4 to wrap up the French Open semifinal field.

The eighth-seeded Swiatek opened their first career meeting with a 2-0 lead, but Sakkari got the match back on serve right away and a crucial break in the ninth game allowed her to take the first set in 47 minutes.

After losing a stretch of five games, from a 4-3 lead in the first set to 0-2 down in the second, Swiatek took a medical timeout and returned with tape on her right upper leg. The Pole never recovered from that early deficit and Sakkari rolled to victory on her third match point.

The 17th-seeded Sakkari will next face Czech Barbora Krejcikova, another first-time major semifinalist who advanced earlier on Wednesday with a 7-6(6) 6-3 win over Coco Gauff. The other semifinal features seed No.31 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Tamara Zidansek. As you can see, the only Top 20 player in the final four is world No.18 Sakkari.


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