Sakkari beats defending champion Swiatek to reach Roland Garros semi-finals

PARIS: Maria sakkari (Photo) beat defending champion Iga Swiatek 6-4, 6-4 to become the first Greek woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final at Roland Garros on Wednesday.

The world No. 18 will face non-seeded Czech Barbora Krejcikova for a place in the final after beating Swiatek who demanded a medical time out at the start of the second set.

Thursday’s other semi-final will see Russia’s 31st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova take on non-seed Slovenian Tamara Zidansek.

“I’m speechless. It’s a dream come true. I don’t know, it’s a very nice feeling and I couldn’t have done it without my team and their support,” said the 25-year-old. years.

“We have a long way to go, but we have taken a big step forward today.

“I had fun and I sat down and thought it was an important game but to enjoy it. I had to take advantage of it. “

For only the second time in the Open era, there are four Grand Slam semi-finalists for the first time in women’s singles, following the 1978 Australian Open.

In addition, for the fifth time only in the history of Roland Garros, a seed outside the top 10 will lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup on Saturday.

Sakkari is the second Greek in the singles semi-final at this year’s Roland Garros after Stefanos Tsitsipas reached the last men’s four on Tuesday.

Swiatek had paused for 2-0 in the first set before the Greek quickly equalized, breaking again for a 5-4 lead.

Sakkari pocketed the opener with confidence, ending the champion’s 22-game streak in the tournament.

When Swiatek slipped 0-2 in the second set, the pole left the field for a medical time out, coming back with his right thigh securely attached.

Swiatek had to fight to avoid a double breakdown in Game 5, but ultimately succumbed in the 10th.

Sakkari reaped the rewards for his total offensive play with five aces and 26 winners. – AFP

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