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Sakkari upsets Pliskova, sets up US Open semi-final showdown against Raducanu

Maria Sakkari knocked out Karolina Pliskova in straight sets at Flushing Meadows on Wednesday and will now face qualifier Emma Raducanu for a spot n the title match

Maria Sakkari at the 2021 US Open Maria Sakkari at the 2021 US Open © AI / Reuters / Panoramic


SAKKARI (17) d. PLISKOVA (4) : 6-4, 6-4

  • What happened: Maria Sakkari turned in a dominant performance to defeat Karolina Pliskova in straight sets in the US Open quarter-finals.
  • You will also learn: Sakkari is through to her second slam semi of the season as she seeks her first slam final appearance.
  • Why you should read this: It sets up an intriguing and surprising semi-final matchup with Emma Raducanu.

Maria Sakkari booked a spot in the US Open semi-finals by kicking off Wednesday’s night session with a 6-4, 6-4 rout of Karolina Pliskova that required only one hour and 21 minutes.

It really wasn’t even as close as the scoreline suggests. Sakkari did not face a single break point and lost only eight service points in the entire match. During one stretch the 18th-ranked Greek won 22 consecutive points on her serve.

Sakkari also advanced to the last four at the French Open, where she came within one point of the final before falling to eventual champion Barbora Krejcikova. The 26-year-old had previously never reached the quarters of a major.

“After reaching my first Grand Slam semi-final at the French, I felt like I can do it again,” she noted. “It was not luck because I beat all these good players. I think I had one of the toughest draws. To be deadly honest, I think Sloane (Stephens) had a tougher draw than me, but (Marta) Kostyuk, (Katerina) Siniakova, (Petra) Kvitova, (Bianca) Andreescu, (and) Pliskova — all these players are players I don’t want to play in the [early] rounds. Going deep, you won’t have it easy. I had to play really well to be here.

“That gives me a lot of confidence because I beat some very, very good players to reach the semifinals this time. I’m actually feeling really well. I don’t want to jinx it. My tennis looks in a great place right now. Mentally I’m pretty calm. I don’t want to get too excited for this win today because I have to play tomorrow. If I had a day off, it would be different.

“I’m very excited to play my second semifinal.”

Sakkari vs. Raducanu in US Open semi-finals

Next up for Sakkari is a semi-final matchup with Emma Raducanu on Thursday night. Raducanu knocked off gold medalist Belinda Bencic 6-3, 6-4 earlier on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old from Great Britain is the first-ever qualifier to reach the semis of the US Open. She did it in convincing fashion, too, without losing a single in eight matches (three in qualifying). Nobody in the main draw has even taken more than four games in any set against Raducanu.

Sakkari has won four matches in straight sets to go along with a three-set thriller against Bianca Andreescu in the round of 16.

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