That The French Open will crown a new grand slam champion in the women̵
Sakkari completed a surprising semi-final lineup by playing a stressed Swiatek 6-4 6-4 on Court Philippe Chatrier in a display filled with purpose and power.
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Thus, she became the first Greek woman to reach a semifinal in the grand slam, and will now go into the last four as a completely unlikely title favorite.
World No. 18 meets Barbora Krejcikova for a place in the final, after the unseeded Czech sealed a remarkable 7-6 (8-6) 6-3 victory over American teen star Coco Gauff.
Thursday’s second semifinal shows Russian 31st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova tackles the unseen Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia.
“I’m speechless. It’s a dream come true,” Sakkari said.
“I do not know, it is a very nice feeling and I could not have done it without my team and their support.
“We have a long way to go, but we made a big step today.
“I enjoyed myself and sat down and said to myself that it’s an important fight, but to enjoy it. I had to enjoy it.”
For only the second time in the Open era, there are four first-time grand slam semi-finalists in women’s singles after the 1978 Australian Open.
Moreover, a player seeded outside the top 10 lifts only fifth time in the Roland Garros story Coupe Suzanne Lenglen on Saturday.
Sakkari is the second Greek in the semifinals of the singles at this year’s French Open, after Stefanos Tsitsipas made the men’s last four on Tuesday.
“We have all played really well this year,” said Sakkari, suggesting that the world rankings in the pandemic hit period for the game had obscured the right kind of horses.
“You can not really see what is the right location. So it is therefore a surprise to everyone.
“We are four very good players – players who can definitely win a title!”
Sad end to Iga Swiatek’s French Open title defense
Swiatek complained of being stressed and sleep deprived after a hard two-week stretch finally caught her, and also suffered a problem with her right thigh, which required a medical timeout of 2-0 down in the second set.
Still, the 25-year-old Sakkari, who once felt she might never be better than a first-week grand slam player, showed her newfound confidence.
Just a few weeks ago, she felt unheard of over the game and set off for a Greek island, Spetses.
“I did not enjoy tennis. I needed a break and it was a wise decision because I have enjoyed it ever since I came back,” Sakkari said.
Inspired by the memory of her late mentor and former Wimbledon champion Jana Novotna, Krejcikova believes she too can win it all after following up on her maiden triumph in the Paris-Strasbourg tournament with an extraordinary victory over the 25th seed. Gauff.
She was 3-0, then 5-3 down, rejecting five set points before taking the opening, then dominating the kid in the second set, though Gauff saved five match points to fight back from 5-0 down to 5-3.
“Everyone just puts a label on me like, ‘You’re a double specialist.’ But I never thought I would just be a double specialist, ”she protested.
“I’ve always felt … sooner or later I’m just getting there.”
Watch ‘Mind Games’, the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia that explores the often brutal mental wear and tear elite athletes undergo in the pursuit of greatness:
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