(SATSports) – Maria Sakkari ousted eighth seed and defending champion Iga Swiatek, 6-4, 6-4, to make her first semi-final at major tournament.
In a tournament that has been plagued with upsets of top ranked players, Sakkari had to play tremendous tennis to take out Swiatek, who was not only the last top seeded player but was also on an 11 match winning streak in Paris.
Sakkari produced 26 winners and 5 aces to end the eight seed’s title defense. Her first serve was crucial as she won 83% of her first serve points and saved 5 of 6 break points. She also won 75% of the points when she approached the net and also showed her ability to outhit opponents from the back of the court.
The 17th seed became the first Greek woman to make a grand slam semi-final, also making history for Greece, who has two players in the grand slam semi-finals for the first time, with Stefanos Tsitsipas in the men’s draw. Next up for Sakkari is Barbora Krejcikova.
25 year old Krejcikova saw off Coco Gauff 7-6 (6), 6-3 to make her first grand slam semi-final. The unseeded Czech had to save 5 set points in the first set as Gauffstruggled to close off the set after a promising start. After such a comeback, she was not wasting any opportunities as she fired a forehand winner to take control of proceedings.
Gauff seemed to crumble at the start of the second as her opponent won 10 straight points to start the second set. She would go on to gift the match to Barborathrough unforced errors, 41 in the match and double faults which amounted to 7. Krejcikova would go on to book her place in the last four on her sixth match point after another misfired shot wide by Gauff, who saw her remarkable run in Paris end.
Krejcikova and Sakkari are both in their first grand slam semi-finals heading into the match, with the former leading their head to head 2-0. Both players have also conceded just one set each during the campaign so it should be an interesting match up for the fans who will be watching two stars trying to rise up the ranks and get their names into grand slam tournament history books.
(Report Written and Compiled by Takudzwa Alufeyo)