French Open: Maria Sakkari stuns defending champion Iga Swiatek to complete unexpected semi-final line-up

Maria Sakkari stunned defending champion Iga Swiatek to complete a set of unexpected women’s semi-finalists at the French Open.

Maria Sakkari of Greece celebrates her surprise victory over defending champion Iga Swiatek in the French Open quarter-finals. Picture: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Swiatek burst onto the global stage in October by winning her first grand slam title in spectacular style and found herself this time as the only player in the quarter-finals previously to have gone further at any slam.

The Pole was on a winning streak at Roland Garros of 11 matches and 22 sets but a right thigh problem appeared to affect her as she fell to a 6-4 6-4 defeat against 17th seed Sakkari. The Greek is now the highest-ranked player left in the tournament and will face the Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova in the last four.

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Krejcikova ended Coco Gauff’s hopes of reaching a first grand slam semi-final with a straight-sets victory at Roland Garros.

Poland's Iga Swiatek plays a forehand during her quarter-final defeat by Maria Sakkari of Greece at Roland Garros. Picture: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Gauff has been in brilliant form on the clay and had cruised through to her first slam quarter-final but she was unable to take any of five set points in the opening set and faded badly afterwards to lose 7-6 (6) 6-3.

The 17-year-old led 3-0 and 5-3 in the opening set, as well as 6-4 in the tie-break, but each time Krejcikova battled back and she pounced on her first set point.

The disappointment for Gauff was evident as she made a poor start to the second set and she was unable to recover, smashing her racket forcefully on the court after a double fault left her 4-0 behind.

The other semi-final will be between Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the 31st seed from Russia, and Tamara Zidansek, the unseeded Slovenian.

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