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Roland-Garros: Iga Swiatek absent after losing in the quarter-finals against Maria Sakkari |  Tennis News


The defending champion had reached the quarter-finals without losing a set; she received a medical timeout and treatment at 6-4 2-0 and was unable to produce the required return; Maria Sakkari will now face Barbora Krejcikova in the semi-finals

Last updated: 06/09/21 3:13 PM

Iga Swiatek struggled with the power of Maria Sakkari and a right thigh injury

Defending champion Iga Swiatek is absent from Roland Garros after a 6-4 6-4 straight-set loss to 17th seed Maria Sakkari in the quarter-finals.

The 20-year-old, who won the title last year without losing a set, found herself challenged by Sakkari’s power from the start. Although the Greek player needed to get over some nerves at the start.

After losing the first set, Swiatek had to leave the field at 6-4 2-0 to receive treatment in the right thigh.

Upon her return, the defending champion showed great resilience not to let the injury get in the way of her considerably, and she continued to serve. However, Swiatek was unable to make inroads into the Sakkari service.

Instead, Sakkari, appearing in her first Grand Slam quarter-final, remained calm and at 5-4 she served to secure a memorable victory on first request.

Roland-Garros: Iga Swiatek absent after losing in the quarter-finals against Maria Sakkari |  Tennis News

Maria Sakkari is now the highest ranked player in the women’s table

Sakkari will now face Barbora Krejcikova in the semi-final, after Krejcikova defeated Coco Gauff in the previous quarter-final on Philippe-Chatrier court.

Sakkari’s progress to the semi-finals means that for only the fifth time in Roland Garros history, a top-10 seed will lift the Suzanne Lenglen Cup on Saturday. It is also the first time in the Open Era of Roland Garros that there are four semi-finalists for the first time.

As the 17th seed and world number 18, Sakkari is now the highest ranked player in contention.

Krejcikova, her the opponent of the semi-final is not classified, just as Tamara Zidansek, who will take the 31st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the other semi-final.

Sakkari keeps his cool to continue his best race

Sakkari, who said she would “enjoy the moment and play tennis” in her first slam quarter-final, ended up 2-0 at the start.

After banishing the clearly bubbling nerves, she began to punish Swiatek’s unusual mistakes. His powerful groundstrokes, especially his forehand, allowed him to dictate the game.

Swiatek, who has also endured long doubles matches this week, didn’t look as sharp as usual.

Roland-Garros: Iga Swiatek absent after losing in the quarter-finals against Maria Sakkari |  Tennis News

Maria Sakkari never let Iga Swiatek get comfortable on Philippe-Chatrier court

A key break from Swiatek’s serve came at 4-4, before Sakkari calmly served the first set.

After leading 2-0 early in the second, the 17th seed was forced to stop and think, after Swaitek requested a medical time out and received treatment off the field.

The reigning champion returned with straps on her upper right thigh and as the game continued she served well. However, with Sakkari firmly in the groove and his nerves too, the Greek athlete finished the job professionally in an hour and 35 minutes.

“It’s a very nice feeling and I couldn’t have done it without my team and their support,” Sakkari said on the pitch afterwards.

“I just want to thank them. We still have a long way to go, of course, but we’ve made a big leap today.”

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