Chaos ensued in the French Open women’s draw as, in a 53-year first, six of the eight remaining players have never made it to a Grand Slam quarterfinals before.
It is the first time in the Open Era that six women will make their quarterfinal debut in the same tournament.
The only two players who have been in the last eight of the major before are Iga Swiatek and 31st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
Defending champion Swiatek is also the only top 10 player still in title contention.
An Open Era record 6 first-time Slam quarterfinalists at #RG21:
There will be at least 3 first-time Slam semifinalists.
Defending champ Iga Swiatek is the only Top 10 seed remaining.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) June 7, 2021
Meanwhile, Maria Sakkari, Barbora Krejcikova, Coco Gauff, Elena Rybakina, Paula Badosa and Tamara Zidansek are set to make their quarterfinal debut.
The seeded players have struggled at the French Open. At the top of the list, World No 1 Ash Barty was forced to retire due to injury in the second round while second seed Naomi Osaka withdrew from the tournament after winning her first round.
Serena Williams, chasing the elusive 24th major, was also knocked out in the fourth round by 21-year-old Rybakina.
On Monday, Sakkari of Greece sent fourth seed and former Australian Open champion Sofia Kenin packing with a 6-1, 6-3 rout.
Gauff, at 17, and Rybakina, 21, have yet to drop a set. Badosa and Krejcikova, 23 and 25, respectively, are riding nine-match winning streaks.
Zidansek, 23, is the lowest-ranked player remaining at No.85, but she’s playing the tournament of her life, having knocked out No.6 seed Bianca Andreescu in the first round.
The past five French Open champions – Garbiñe Mugaruza, Jelena Ostapenko, Simona Halep, Ashleigh Barty and Swiatek – were first-time Grand Slam winners. Will we see history repeat itself?