After a 3 hour 17 minutes battle on Court Phillipe Chatrier, and saving a match point, Barbora Krejcikova gets the better of Maria Sakkari to reach her first ever grand slam final in singles. She defeated the gutsy Greek in three sets 7-5,4-6,9-7.
The 2018 Roland Garros doubles champion was making only her fifth appearance in singles at a major and had never gone past the second round and now, she will is just one win away from lifting the Coupe Suzanne Lenglen on Saturday. She is in the semi-finals of the doubles event too and has a chance to become only the second women in the history of Roland Garros to do a ‘Double’.
Both the players were very nervous at the start of the match because they were playing their first grand slam semifinal. Sakkari especially was hitting very safe 150 kmph first serves early on to settle nerves. Due to the nerves, they were struggling a lot with the serve and didn’t manage to hold it early on. Sakkari lead 2-1 with 2 breaks and was able to hold serve next for the first time.
The nerves started to settle with time and the level on tennis displayed gradually increased. With intense holds and dramatic breaks, the players drew level at 5-5. Krejcikova had the last laugh as she broke the Greek at the right time to take the opening set 7-5.
Krejcikova’s nerves of steel
The second set saw a fired up Sakkari. She raised the level of her game, and played with the same dominance like she did against Swiatek in the quarterfinals. She broke Krejcikova twice and stormed to a 4-0 lead. But suddenly she made a string of errors on her forehand, handing a break back to the Czech. But the Greek still had a break with her and used it as a shield to steal the second set 6-4. The roar at the end showed her passion for the sport.
Sakkari was all set to run away with the third set. She was playing very aggressive tennis and broke Krejcikova to take a 3-1 lead. She was all set to become the first Greek women to reach a grand slam final and was serving for the set at 5-4. But Krejcikova proved that she has nerves of steel as she saved a match point to break back and stay in the match.
The remainder of the games were on serve and full of drama with the crowd going behind both players. On Sakkari’s serve at 8-7, Krejcikova had multiple match points, one of them was overturned of the umpire due to a tight baseline call. She eventually proved her mettle and won the set 9-7.
She will now face another first timer, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the Women’s Singles final on Saturday.
Also read: Iga Swiatek withdraws from Berlin Open 2021