Sakkari shocks defending champion Swiatek, reaches Roland-Garros last four

The Greek sent the defending champion packing with a 6-4, 6-4 victory and reached her maiden Grand Slam semi-final

Maria Sakkari at Roland-Garros in 2021
  • What happened: Maria Sakkari ensured that one woman will win her maiden Grand Slam title this year at Roland-Garros – for the sixth year running.
  • You will also learn: How Swiatek’s incredible set-winning streak in Paris came to an end.
  • Why you should read this article: Sakkari secured her second win over a Top 10 player at a Grand Slam – three days after her first.

Greece’s Maria Sakkari put on a stunning display to dismiss a stricken Iga Swiatek 6-4, 6-4, and reach the semi-finals of Roland-Garros.

“I’m speechless, it’s a dream come true,” she said on court afterwards. “It’s a very nice feeling.

“We have a long way to go – but we made a huge step today.”

Swiatek – who had seemed almost unbeatable in the previous rounds – dropped a set at Paris for the first time in two years in the opening 51 minutes. She was apparently hampered in her ball striking and struggling to cope with the devastating cross-court power of her opponent.

The defending champion called for medical assistance when 6-4, 2-0 down, and seemed to be suffering from an issue in her right leg. She went off court to receive treatment, leaving Sakkari to perform a few drills to stay loose and warm.

And the Greek continued where she left off when play resumed, brimming with confidence, hitting drop shots as well as her big strikes, and serving with almost impregnable brilliance.

Swiatek was the only player in the last eight to have reached that stage of a Slam before.

It was an important win for Sakkari outside of the tournament as well. It was her second Grand Slam win over a Top 10 player – the first came only on Monday, when she beat Sofia Kenin, the world No 5, in the fourth round.

And should she manage to lift a maiden Grand Slam title here in Paris, Sakkari could become a Top 10 player herself for the first time in her career.

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