Greek tennis champion Maria Sakkari reached the French Open semifinals on Wednesday after an impressive performance against last year’s winner Iga Swiatek.
Sakkari won in straight sets, 2-0 (6-4, 6-4) and confirmed her stature among the leading ladies of world tennis. The 17th seed has secured a first Grand Slam semi-final where she will meet Czech ace Barbora Krejcikova.
After her epic win, Sakkari, speaking in Greek, thanked all her fans who watched her performance at the Philippe-Chatrier court in Paris and those back in Greece watching on tv. “I hope I will not return soon,” she said.
Sakkari joins Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Roland Garros semis in what has been a dream week for Greek tennis. Tsitsipas defeated the Russian Daniil Medvedev 6-3, 7-6 (3), 7-5 in the quarter final on the Court Philppe Chatrier at Roland Garros.
Maria Sakkari beat Elise Mertens and Sofia Kenin en route to the quarters in Paris.
On Monday, the Greek player’s 6-1 6-3 demolition of last year’s runner-up Sofia Kenin secured her place in the last eight and prior to that, she had dismissed the 14th seed, Elise Mertens, in the third round.
Sakkari’s progression into the last-four club at a Grand Slam has been a fairly long time coming. This year’s French Open is her 21st appearance in a main draw of a Slam and her previous best was reaching the fourth round at last year’s Australian Open and US Open.
“I’m excited to be in the quarter-finals for the first time. I knew it was going to come,” she said after her fourth-round win.
“I didn’t know when, but I think that I’ve been playing very good tennis, especially this year, and I don’t see why I can’t go further, as well.”
Maria Sakkari’s Unique Accomplishments for Greek Tennis
On May 17, 2021, she reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 18. Her best WTA doubles ranking is 169, achieved on September 9, 2019.
Sakkari has won one singles title on the WTA Tour, at the 2019 Morocco Open, where she defeated Johanna Konta in the final.
Last September, Sakkari cruised over No.22 seed Amanda Anisimova after only 55 minutes to book a place in the fourth round of the US Open.
The No.15 seed won in rapid fashion by a score of 6-3, 6-1 and became the first Greek woman to reach the second week in Flushing Meadows since Eleni Daniilidou in 2004.
In 2020, Sakkari reached the round of 16 at both the Australian Open and US Open, her best Grand Slam performance so far.
The Greek tennis champion is known for her aggressive, all-court style of play, centered around her strong serve and powerful groundstrokes. Sakkari served the sixth most aces of any player in 2020, with 144 aces served in 31 matches.