Exit: defending champion Swiat...


Exit: defending champion Swiatek / Enter: Sakkari at French Open

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Maria Sakkari ensured there will be a maiden Grand Slam winner at this year's French Open, by beating the defending women's champion. 

The 17th seed beat Iga Swiatek 6-4, 6-4 to set up a semi-final date with the Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova.

Swiatek had won each of her eleven previous matches at Roland-Garros in straight sets, but wasn't helped by a thigh problem on the Philippe-Chatrier Court.

"I don't want to get too excited because I don't have a day off tomorrow," Sakkari said after the win.

"I still have to play, stay focused. But it's a big achievement, for sure. I'm enjoying, as I said on court, my tennis and myself.

"I have people around me telling it was going to come. You know, they were right. Maybe I was the one who was telling them, I was impatient, telling them, 'When and when and when?' It actually came this week, so I'm happy about it."

Sakkari is aiming to become the first ever Greek woman to win a Grand Slam, but faces a player in the semi-finals who has already beaten her this year.

Krejcikova overcame Sakkari in straight sets in Dubai, but the highest-ranked player left in the women's draw feels she's better prepared this time around.

"Just to say the truth, I did not play well in Dubai," said the 25-year old, "It was one of [Krejcikova's] best weeks.

"Credit to her. She played very, very good that week. But different conditions, fast court, fast balls. I made a lot of unforced errors.

"I think, of course, it's going to be very tough, but I'm confident that my coaches will give me the right game plan.

"So far I have been executing whatever they said really well. I trust myself and I trust their game plan. I think it's going to work out well."

Krejcikova was too strong for 17-year old Coco Gauff in the first match on Chatrier on Wednesday, winning 7-6, 6-3.

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Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova Coco Gauff French Open Iga Swiatek Maria Sakkari Roland Garros Tamara Zidansek Tennis

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