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Four reasons to follow the four surprising semi-finalists this Thursday at Roland-Garros

María Sakkari-Barbora Krejčíková and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova-Tamara Zidansek, here are the surprising posters of the last four of the Parisian Grand Slam.

Since the title of Justine Henin in 2007, no player has managed to keep her title at Roland Garros. And that will not be the case again this year. Iga Swiatek, who seemed unbeatable, suffered the law of María Sákkari, 18th in the world, now the highest ranked player still in contention. None of the players from the last four had already arrived at this stage of the competition in a Grand Slam tournament. Speaking statistics: the average ranking of these four players is… the 42nd place in the world.

Sakkari and Greece in celebration

Greek tennis celebrates. After having released the last finalist Sofia Kenin (5th in the world) in the round of 16, Maria Sakkari offered herself at 25 her first Grand Slam semi-final by knocking down the favorite Iga Swiatek. She thus became the first Greek player to qualify at this stage of the competition at Roland Garros… since 1925 and Hélène Contostavlos, who lost against Suzanne Lenglen. “It’s really an exciting time for Greek tennis (Stefanos Tsitsipas is placed in the last men’s four). Now we can say that my country exists (Smile). It might even be the biggest sport right now. Football is over, so is basketball so tennis is in the spotlight. With Stefanos, we are very close. We have known each other since we were very young. “

Barbora Krejcikova from doubles to singles

Victorious in Strasbourg, just before Roland-Garros, her very first title on the WTA circuit, the 24-year-old Czech has been unstoppable since the start of the Parisian fortnight. Apart from the first round, where she needed three sets to get rid of Krystina Pliskova, she is flying over the competition. After crushing Sloane Stephens, finalist in 2018, (6-2, 6-0) in the 8th, she got the better of US prodigy Coco Gauff (7-6, 6-4) in the quarterfinals. Until then, Krejcikova was best known for being a very good doubles player (7th in the world). With her partner, Katerina Siniakova, she notably won the WTA 1000 in Madrid, the WTA 500 Gippsland Trophy in Melbourne and played in the final of the Australian Open this year. She had already registered her name in the Grand Slams, with a double Roland-Garros / Wimbledon in 2018. She now dreams of doing it in singles too: “I never decided to be a doubles specialist. Everyone puts this tag on me, but I never wanted it. At 22, I won two Grand Slam titles in doubles, but I didn’t want to be a doubles specialist, I wanted to play in singles. ” It’s his time.

Pavlyuchenkova broke the glass ceiling

On Monday, the Russian defeated her doubles partner Elena Rybakina 9-7 in 3e set after a fight of 2:33. See you soon 30, the former world junior number 1 waited for her 52e Grand Slam and its … seventh quarter-final to take a step forward. During this 2021 edition, the 32e world player notably released Victoria Azarenka. She will be favorite this Thursday against the surprise Tamara Zidansek: “I have always been a fighter. It’s just that maybe I wasn’t physically fit enough and maybe mentally strong enough to go further. ” From ancient history.

Tamara Zidansek, the sensation

At 23, Slovenian Tamara Zidansek, 85e world, remains the lowest ranked player of the quarter-finalists. She won more matches at this Roland Garros than before in the Grand Slam (three successes). The Slovenian was particularly right in the first round of the winner of the US Open 2019 Bianca Andrescuu (6-7, 7-6, 9-7). Victorious in Belgrade, semi-finalist in Charleston and Madrid, where she notably nabbed a set from world number 1 Ashleigh Barty, Tamara Zidansek became the first independent Slovenia player to go to the last four of a Grand tournament. Slam. For a country of about 2 million inhabitants, where tennis is not a national sport, this is obviously a small feat. “This journey allows me to send the message to young people and to everyone in Slovenia, that, yes, we can do it. We are a small country, we don’t have a lot of athletes, but we have some good ones. “


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