2021 French Open: Maria Sakkari ousts defending champion Iga Swiatek
17th seed Maria Sakkari powered past defending champion Iga Swiatek in their women's singles quarter-final match of the 2021 French Open on Wednesday. A dominant Sakkari reached her maiden semi-final at a Slam event. In the first career meeting between the two, Sakkari won 6-4, 6-4 in straight sets. She will take on Barbora Krejcikova in the last four. Here's more.
Swiatek looked comfortable in the beginning, breaking Sakkari to take a 2-0 lead. Sakkari rallied back to hold on after two quality serves down the middle and T to secure a hold (2-2). Sakkari got the advantage, breaking Swiatek at 5-4 before serving for the set. The second set saw Sakkari break Swiatek as she won five games on the bounce.
Sakkari now has a 31-20 win-loss record at Grand Slams. This was her 10th win at Roland Garros. She has a win-loss record of 10-4. Prior to this, her best finish at Roland Garros was two third-round berths in 2017 and 2019 respectively.
Sakkari had lost in the second round of the Italian Open in a three-set duel against Coco Gauff. Prior to that, she had lost in the round of 16 across two successive tournaments - Porsche Grand Prix and Madrid Open. Sakkari now has a 5-1 win-loss record at Slam events in 2021. She had lost in the first round at the 2021 Australian Open.
Sakkari will take on world number 33 Barbora Krejcikova in the semi-final. Earlier today, Krejcikova beat America's Coco Gauff to book a maiden first Grand Slam semi-final (singles). Krejcikova staged a dramatic turnaround after trailing in the first set, winning 7-5 (8-6), 6-3 eventually. Notably, Krejcikova has won five Grand Slam honors in the women's doubles and mixed doubles events respectively.
Polish international Swiatek had come into the French Open after emerging victorious at the Italian Open, beating Karolina Pliskova 6-0, 6-0 in straight sets. After reaching the fourth round in the 2019 French Open, she emerged victorious last season. With a defeat against Sakkari, the 19-year-old Swiatek now has a 14-2 record at Roland Garros. Sakkari also ended Swiatek's 10-match winning run across tournaments.