French Open: Defending champ Swiatek crashes out as Sakkari closer to history

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Maria Sakkari defeated defending champion Iga Swiatek 6-4, 6-4 to become the first Greek woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final at the French Open on Wednesday. 

The World No. 18 will face Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic for a place in the final after seeing off Swiatek who had required a medical timeout early in the second set.

I am speechless: Sakkari

“I am speechless. It is a dream coming true. I don’t know, it is a very nice feeling and I could not have done it without my team and their support,” said Sakkari. 
“We have a long way to go but we made a huge step today. I enjoyed myself and sat down and said to myself it is an important match but to enjoy it. I had to enjoy it.” 

Swiatek had gone into the match on the back of 22 consecutive sets won at the French Open but her challenge was hobbled by a right thigh injury which needed taping during a medical timeout early in the second set. Her defeat means that Justine Henin remains the last player to defend the women’s title in Paris in 2007. 

Maria Sakkari is ecstatic after her win over Iga Swiatek

Unseeded Krejcikova in Last 4

Unseeded Krejcikova knocked out American Coco Gauff 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 after saving five set points in the opener and then needing six match points to finish the job. 
Gauff, 17, the 24th seed and the youngest quarter-finalist at a major in 15 years, was undone by seven double faults and 41 unforced errors. “I never really imagined I’d be standing here one day on this court, especially in singles, and being able to win,” said Krejcikova, who had been so paralysed by fear before her last 16 victory over Sloane Stephens that she locked herself in a stadium office and wept. 

Also Read: French Open champ Rafael Nadal drops first set since 2019 but moves into semis

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