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French Open: Maria beats Iga, sets up semi-finals clash with Barbora

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By IANS Updated: Jun 10, 2021 1:33 am
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Maria Sakkari of Greece returns the ball to Poland’s Iga SwiÄ…tek during their quarterfinal match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium on Wednesday. (PTI)

London, June 9 (IANS): Defending champion Iga Swiatek was sent packing from the French Open by Greek world No.18 Maria Sakkari, who stunned the 20-year-old Polish star 6-4, 6-4 and set up a semi-final clash against Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova.

World No.33 Barbora ended American teenager Coco Gauff’s hopes of reaching her maiden Grand Slam semi-final with a 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 victory.

Maria, who is now the highest-ranked player in the field, is just two wins away from a historic maiden Grand Slam singles title for a Greek woman. A win at the end of the week could also propel her into the top 10.

Iga was on a winning streak of 11 matches and 22 sets at the Roland Garros, but a right thigh strain seemed to be bothering her all through the match against Maria.

Coco had been in great form on clay and cruised to her maiden Grand Slam quarter-final with ease but on Wednesday she was unable to take any of the five set points in the opening set and simply faded away.

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 Barbora clawed back.

The disappointment after the missed set-points for Coco was evident as she made a poor start to the second set. Coco’s pent-up frustration came to the fore when she smashed her racquet after a double fault that left her 4-0 behind.

Barbora, better known for her doubles exploits — she was ranked world No. 1 in 2018 and has won two women’s doubles and three mixed doubles Grand Slam titles — showed no sign of nerves as Coco self-destructed.

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By IANS Updated: Jun 10, 2021 1:33:21 am