A new Grand Slam champion will be crowned at the French Open after Maria Sakkari ended Iga Swiatek’s title defence in Paris on Wednesday.
Sakkari stunned Swiatek, the only remaining major winner in the women’s draw, 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals.
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French Open will have four first-time semifinalists at the same tournament for the first time in the Open Era. At the majors, the only other time this happened was at 1978 Australian Open.
Kindness always wins ❤️
Lovely gesture by, @mariasakkari 🥰#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/UsV8SOXQPQ
— Roland-Garros (@rolandgarros) June 9, 2021
Sakkari will next take on Barbora Krejcikova in the final four while Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will battle it out against Slovenia’s Tamara Zidansek.
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Now the highest-ranked player remaining in the field, World No 18 Sakkari is just two wins away from a historic maiden Grand Slam singles title for a Greek woman.
Hoisting the trophy could also propel her into the top 10.
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Earlier in the day, Krejcikova had saved five set points in the first set to overcome 17-year-old Coco Gauff 7-6 (6), 6-3.
Krejcikova won the Roland Garros doubles crown in 2018 alongside Katerina Siniakova and reached World No.1 in doubles, but has seen her singles career take off in the past year.
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The Czech is currently ranked at a career high of World No.33 and has compiled a 24-9 record in 2021, including a run to the Dubai final in March and a maiden title two weeks ago in Strasbourg.
“I never really wanted to be a doubles specialist,” she said.
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“Everybody just put a label on me. But we won our first two Grand Slams when I was 22. I felt like I don’t want to be a doubles specialist when I was 22.
“I want to play singles. I want to work hard, improve my game. I want to play the top players actually in singles.”