Well then… we are confirmed a new Slam champion as the four remaining players at the 2021 French Open are all first-time Slam semi-finalists! I knew there would be upsets. I knew there would be draw carnage. It’s the French Open. I’m still surprised 😂. It will be a fascinating conclusion to the tournament to see who snaps up this wondrous opportunity. Read on for Wednesday’s diary from Paris.
Day 1️⃣1️⃣ Highlights
(17) Maria Sakkari d. (8) Iga Swiatek, 6-4 6-4
Maria Sakkari completed the clean sweep of first time Slam semi-finalists as she stunned the overwhelming tournament favourite, Iga Swiatek, in straight sets.
It was a scrappy start to the match and perhaps looking back, a pre-cursor to what would unfold. After an early exchange of breaks, Sakkari broke at *4-4 and served out in style, holding her own in a couple of lengthy exchanges. Swiatek’s forehand had an off day and Sakkari did a great job with her tactics at exposing that wing. It became apparent in the second set that Swiatek was dealing with an injury as she took an off-court medical time-out for an upper leg injury. It kind of all added up as Swiatek looked uncomfortable moving out wide on that side.
MTOs have created a few stories this year and I was nervous for Sakkari during the delay and I was only watching! I thought Sakkari’s focus was exemplary and she rode her break home with some exceptional serving. In that second set, Sakkari lost just FOUR points on serve. I’ve been banging on about Sakkari’s serve all year and it’s so nice to see it hold up as a weapon when she really needed it. Jeepers it’s been a rough, rough tournament for so many of the top players with injuries. I’m happy for Sakkari who is now the highest ranked player going forward! That’s going to be a challenge to handle for the next few days…
Barbora Krejcikova d. (24) Coco Gauff, 7-6(6) 6-3
Gauff and Krejcikova collided with their nine match winning streaks in the first match of the day. It was Krejcikova who kept hers alive, winning her 10th consecutive match.
This was a nervy affair. Highly entertaining though and some nice rallies. I enjoy watching both players strike a tennis ball. Krejcikova saved five set points to win the 70-minute opener on the tiebreak. Krejcikova looked nervous at the start and continually battled with her ball toss. You could feel the tension. Yet somehow Krejcikova conjured up some inspired tennis in the pressure moments. An error-filled tiebreak was gobbled up by Krejcikova who hit three superb forehand winners to claim the set.
Krejcikova raced into a lead in the second set and then things got tense again. Five match points disappeared. 5-0 became 5-3. It was hide-behind-the-sofa time for Krejcikova’s service game at *5-3. In classic Krejcikova style, she served it out to love! Remarkable effort. I was a little surprised how Gauff went away after the first set. It was clearly a crusher having had all those set points and been in the ascendancy for most of it.
Super stat 🔢
Best point 🎾
Set point in the first set. Terrific from Sakkari.
Favourite snap 📸
Where my head’s at right now…
Recommended media 📺
Day 12 watchlist 📺
(17) Maria Sakkari vs. Barbora Krejcikova
(31) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova vs. Tamara Zidansek
9 thoughts on “2021 French Open, Wednesday QF Highlights: Sakkari stuns Swiatek, Krejcikova up next”
I was not too surprised that Iga Swiatek lost as she did not play to her usual high standard in her previous match and Maria Sakkari is an improving player who is energetic and very fit. Some people will say that Iga should not have got involved with the Women’s doubles and concentrated fully on defending her title.
I see that Maria is now the favourite to win this GS. If she can cope with the occasion and hold her nerve then I think that she can do it. I do not mind who wins as I do not especially like any of them and just hope that the remaining 3 matches will be entertaining ones.
Don’t know about anyone else, but I love it when you get fresh players coming through to the final stages instead of the more established ones (nothing personal Simona if you’re reading this!).
It means that any of a multitude of players has a chance of taking home the trophy instead of the game being dominated by a small handful of players as the men’s tour is.
On the subject of the men’s tour, I think Rafa is looking shakier than I’ve seen of him for quite a while. I wouldn’t be overly surprised if he fails to win it this time.
As a Novak Djokovic fan, I would love for Rafa not to win his next match haha!
I’m not sure that I would want too many fresh players coming through in every GS but yes, it is good to see and I like it and I consider it to be good for women’s tennis overall as it can get very boring and predictable if the game is dominated by the same few players all the time.
Surprised at these two results but not at all unhappy. Sakkari has felt “on the brink” for the past year or so and Krejcikova has just rocketed to the top of the game this year!
I feel like we might be in for some nervy semi finals though…
I’m expecting A LOT of nerves! It’s an incredible opportunity for all four players remaining to win a Slam in singles.
Same here! They all deserve to be where they are – fair and square. I’m torn about who I want to win though. After considering all the matches I’ve watched I think I will be cheering on Pavs 🙂 It would be such a feel good story (the others winning would be too though haha). I think the winner will be the one with the best nerves in the end as it is SUCH AN OPPORTUNITY!!!!
Nice to hear from you, Murphy! Pavs still in with a shot 😁
At the start of the tournament I said I was expecting the winner to come from the top half and a likely a top
20 player. I’m now conflicted if it happens to be Sakkari against Pavs. I like them both, although Pavs for much longer 🙂 if it counts for anything.
LikeLiked by 1 person