Surprises in the women’s championship and the “king” of clay courts, Nadal reaches the semi-finals

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                Spain's Rafael Nadal reached the semi-finals of the Roland Garros tournament (one of the four major tournaments in the world of tennis "Grand Slam") with ease, after defeating Argentine Diego Schwarzman 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 on Wednesday.  In the women's tournament, Greece's Maria Sakkari booked her place in the semi-finals by eliminating the defending Polish champion, Iga Šviontik.
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                                    <p>Without any surprises, Spain's Rafael Nadal reached his 14th semi-final in the <a target="_blank" href="https://www.france24.com/ar/رياضة/20210605-التونسية-أنس-جابر-تتأهل-لثمن-نهائي-بطولة-رولان-غاروس-لكرة-المضرب" rel="noopener"><strong>French Open Tennis Championship</strong></a>In the second Grand Slam, when he beat Argentine Diego Schwarzman on Wednesday, while Poland's eighth seed Iga Shwentek ceded her title to Greece's Maria Sakkari, who reached the semi-finals for the first time in the "Grand Slam", similar to her next opponent, Czech Barbora Krajicekova.

It seems that the expected duel between Nadal and the Serbian number one, Novak Djokovic, will become clear this evening when the latter directs Italian Matteo Berrettini to reserve a place for him in the semi-finals.

Nadal managed to settle the match in favor of 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0, despite the resistance shown by the Argentine.

“I started the second set badly,” Nadal said after his victory. “I drew 4-4, but I didn’t come back well and I knew it would be difficult to keep my serve.”

This is Nadal’s 104th win at Roland Garros (two losses only), in his quest to win his 14th title, taking him to 21 Grand Slam titles (a record).

Nadal is currently tied with the number of titles in the Grand Slam, with the Swiss withdrawn from the tournament, Roger Federer, with twenty titles.

The Spaniard and the Serbian, if he wins later today, will seek to reserve a place for them in the final, to face one of the winners of the match between Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas (5) and German Alexander Zverev (6).

 <strong>Shevontik farewell</strong>

Maria Sakkari sealed her ticket to her first semi-final at the Grand Slam by defeating defending champion Iga Švientek 6-4 6-4 in the first confrontation between the 25-year-old Greek and world number 18 and the 20-year-old Pole, who crowned her first big title in Paris last year by winning in Final on American Sofia Kenin.

Sakkari has never reached beyond the fourth round in any of her previous 20 Grand Slam matches (not counting the qualifiers in these posts), but she achieved the feat this time at Roland Garros by eliminating Belgian Elise Mertens and runner-up Kenin in the previous two rounds.

After qualifying, she said, “I am speechless. It’s a dream come true… It’s a very nice feeling and I couldn’t have done it without my team and their support. We still have a long way to go but we have taken a huge step.”

For the second time in history (after the Australian Championship in 1978) since the beginning of the era of professionalism and open championships, there are four players who had not previously reached this role in the “Grand Slam” in the semi-finals, after Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Slovenian Tamara Zidanchik qualified for this round on Tuesday. .

Sakkari, who won the only title in her career out of two finals and was in the 2019 Rabat tournament, ended her confrontation with Šviontik in one hour and 35 minutes after breaking the latter three times in the match, to join her compatriot Stefanos Tsitsipas, who reached the semi-finals in men on Tuesday at the expense of Russian Daniel Medvedev.

The next obstacle for Sakkari to try to succeed Švientek in winning the title will be Krajicekova, ranked 33 in the world, who also qualifies for the first time to the semi-finals of one of the “Grand Slam” tournaments, after defeating the American teenager Kiki Gauff, ranked 25, 7-6 (8-6). and 6-3.

The second round of four matches will be between the two players at the professional level, and the first was this year in the first round of the Dubai Tournament, when Krajchikova came out victorious in two sets.

And Kraichikova achieved her best result so far in the “Grand Slam”, as she had never crossed the second round, which she participated in twice in Australia, in 2020 and 2021.

With Sakkari, Kraichikova, Pavlyuchenkova and Zidancic in the last four, a player outside the WTA Rankings outside of the Top Ten will win the title of Roland Garros for only the fifth time in the tournament’s history.

“I never thought I’d get here”

“I still can’t believe it,” said the Czech. “I got here after winning in Strasbourg and that’s nice, but I never imagined I’d get here, on this court, especially in the singles. Being able to win like that, I’ve never been before. imagine it.”

Regarding her competitor, Gough said, “She is 17 years old, but when I was her age, I used to take courses for young women… Her time will come.”

The Czech needed an hour and a quarter of an hour to finish the first set 7-6 (8-6) as she needed to save five balls against her, before taking the lead in the second 5-0, as she managed to break her American opponent’s serve several times in a row.

Regarding the first set, Krajchikova said, “The first set was important. I was late for a long time but I played and got a good result. Later I started well in the second set.”

Although she advanced in the tiebreak to decide the match 40-0, she lost this advantage to the 17-year-old, who responded by winning all the points and the set 5-2.

Kraichikova, 25, who won the doubles title on French clay courts in 2018, got a fifth chance to decide the match in her favor by sending her opponent, but she failed to translate it in her favour, so Goff responded strongly and settled the game in her favour, 5-3.

Despite losing three consecutive games, Krajchikova maintained her composure and coolness, as she succeeded in using her serve and the power of her kicks to advance 40-0 and decide the set in her favour, and then the match.

Paradoxically, Kraichikova almost ended her career in Paris in the previous role, after she expressed in the office of the physiotherapist that she felt that she did not want to play against another American, Sloane Stephens, the 2018 French championship

However, she decided to go out to the field to win 6-2 6-0, achieving a record of 9 consecutive victories, after arriving in Paris on winning the title of the Strasbourg Tournament (increasing the number to 10 after defeating Gave).

At the end of the match, Kraichikova admitted that she felt very nervous on the day of the victory over Stevens and that she collapsed in tears at the “Susan Lenglen” stadium.

FRANCE 24/AFP

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