French Open 2021: Tsitsipas sails through whilst Światek sinks

In the form of his career the 22-year-old Stefanos Tsitsipas is primed to make his maiden Grand Slam Final Picture: Roland Garros

There was a lot to look forward to in the quarter-finals, it was the Greek sensations in Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas who stole the show this round, looking at home on the Parisian clay courts.

Sakkari doesn’t sweat a champ like Światek

With reigning champion Iga Światek going down in straight lets to Maria Sakkari, we now know that one of the four remaining women will take home their maiden Grand Slam.

Sakkari’s path to her first Grand Slam semi-final didn’t look easy on paper facing Elise Mertens, Sofia Kenin and Światek in her past three matches. Only dropping one set in the tournament so far the 17th seed’s match against the reigning champion should have appeared more evenly matched after she easily dismissed Kenin.

Światek might have won the first two games of the match but the Greek star was quick to break back and fought tooth and nail to hold her serve in the fourth game of the match, seeing off four break point opportunities and never giving the 20-year-old that much ground again.

Recognised for her powerful serve Sakkari served five aces to Światek’s none, and it will be the key to her continuing in the competition, as she now appears to be the favourite to make it through the rest of the tournament after overcoming the challenges to get herself this far.

Teenage sensation Coco Gauff’s quest for a maiden Grand Slam came to an end in the quarter-finals against Barbora Krejčíková.

The first set was possibly one of the most dramatic of the French Open to date, with both Gauff and Krejčíková winning three consecutive games apiece to start the set, however, they were quick to settle after trading breaks a second time.

Even in the tie break it was like splitting hairs between the two but Krejčíková had the final say, hitting three winners to make up for her high unforced error count.

From there it just seemed as though Gauff was on the back foot, yet to lose the first set at Roland Garros she quickly lost five consecutive games and a semi-final berth was well within Krejčíková’s grasp.

She fought back to take three games back but it was too little too late with Krejčíková winning in a 40-Love game to finish the match.

Never having attended Wimbledon or the US Open, Krejčíková’s stunning French Open campaign to date will set her up for a year of firsts as the Czech player continues to dazzle in Paris, she’ll have quite the challenge against Maria Sakkari but she looks confident and comfortable as she heads into her first semi-final at a Grand Slam.

Maria Sakkari66
Iga Światek44
Coco Gauff6[6]3
Barbora Krejčíková7[8]6

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Tsitsipas methodically moves past Medvedev

The quarter-final clash between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Daniil Medvedev was always going to draw eyes, both men are in the form of their careers in 2021 and Medvedev at long last found a comfortable rhythm on clay.

Unfortunately the result was the predictable outcome with Tsitsipas trouncing his rival in straight sets.

The match wasn’t without it’s fair share of drama, with both men pulling out all their tricks. Ultimately Tsitsipas’ calm demeanour was what carried him through whilst the second seed fell into old traps and had several bizarre moments including a tense exchange with the chair umpire deep in the third set.

If there was a moment that symbolised the strange third set it was Medvedev’s decision to send an underarm serve to the Greek superstar whilst down match point. Tsitsipas read the ball beautifully and returned with a backhand winner to take him to the semi-final.

Only having dropped one set for the whole tournament, Tsitsipas is primed to reach the final, he’ll have to overcome Alexander Zverev to get there but at present there are only two names left that could bring the fifth seed down.

The quarter-final is where history tells us it’s do or die to prevent Rafael Nadal from taking home another French Open Championship. A lot weighed on 10th seed Diego Schwartzman’s shoulders to see if he was up to the task of taking down the King of Clay.

Like many of the dramatic matches at Roland Garros this year it started out dramatic with both men taking a set early. Schwartzman’s second set win snapped Nadal’s 36 set streak, at the French Open sending a reminder that it is possible to beat the Spaniard in Paris.

The drama ultimately fizzled out after Nadal took the third set, Schwartzman struggle to win a point in the fourth, only winning four from 28 at one point and couldn’t take a game away from the 13 time champion.

Now it will be Novak Djokovic’s job to take on Nadal in what could be one of the matches of the tournament.

Stefanos Tsitsipas67[7]7
Daniil Medvedev46[3]5
Rafael Nadal6466
Diego Schwartzman3640

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About Jacqui Dodd 127 Articles
Jacqui is a journalist based in Melbourne. A fan of all things sports she primarily focuses on Olympics and Tennis news. You can hear her on The Inner Sanctum's Olympics podcast, Ascending Olympus.

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