French Open: Sakkari dethrones Swiateak, enters semifinals

Maria Sakkari
Maria Sakkari is pumped up after winning a point. Photo: Reuters

Paris: Defending champion Iga Swiatek was knocked out 6-4, 6-4 by Greek Maria Sakkari in the French Open quarterfinals, leaving the women's draw wide open on Wednesday.

The 20-year-old Pole, who took an off-court medical timeout early in the second set, was overwhelmed by Sakkari's power and pace on court Philippe Chatrier with up to almost 5,000 spectators now allowed to attend.

World No. 9 Swiatek, bidding to become the first woman to retain her title since Justine Henin in 2007, got off to a confident start but lacked her usual poise against Sakkari, who dictated most of the points and was greatly helped by her opponent's unforced errors.

Sakkari, the world No. 18, will take on Czech Barbora Krejcikova for a place in Saturday's final.  Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will face Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia in the other semifinal.

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