Four first-time grand slam semifinalists at the 2021 French Open
June 10, 2021
For the first time since the 1978 Australian Open, there will be four first-time semifinalists at the 2021 French Open. On Wednesday, 17th-ranked Maria Sakkari of Greece and Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic joined 31st-ranked Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova of Russia, and Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia.
On Wednesday, Sakkari beat defending French Open champion Iga Swiatek of Poland 6-4, 6-4, and Krejcikova beat American 17-year-old phenom Coco Gauff, 7-6, 6-3 in two quarterfinals. Sakkari’s previous best grand slam result was reaching the fourth round of the 2020 Australian Open and 2020 United States Open. Pavlyuchenkova had reached the quarterfinals of a major six times (2017, 2019, and 2020 Australian Open, 2011 French Open, 2011 United States Open, and the 2016 Wimbledon), while Krejcikova reached the fourth round of the 2020 French Open, and Zidansek has reached the second round at three majors (2019 and 2020 Australian Open and 2019 Wimbledon).
At the 1978 Australian Open, four women’s players reached the final four for the first time in their careers at a major. The eighth seed, Betsy Nagelsen of the United States beat Christine Matison of Australia 7-5, 6-4, while eventual champion Chris O’Neil beat Diane Evers 6-0, 6-3 in an all-Australian battle. Matison made tennis history in 1978 by becoming the first female qualifier to reach a grand slam semifinal.
In men’s tennis, we now know the final four of the French Open too. Novak Djokovic of Serbia, the number one seed, will face the number three seed, Rafael Nadal of Spain. Meanwhile, the fifth seed Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece, will play the sixth seed, Alexander Zverev of Germany. This will be the ninth time that Nadal will have faced Djokovic at the French Open. All-time, Nadal is 7-1.
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