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All of the top 16 female players in tennis are out of the French Open, meaning an underdog will definitely claim the 2021 title

Summary List PlacementAll of the top 16 seeds have now been knocked out of the women's draw of the French Open. Defending champion and eighth seed Iga Swiatek became the latest and last high profile name to be dumped out of the tournament after she was beaten by Greece's Maria Sakkari in the quarterfinal on Wednesday. 17th seed Sakkari beat Swiatek 6-4, 6-4 to book her place in her maiden Grand Slam semifinal, where she will face unseeded Barbora Krejcikova, who earlier this week dumped out teenage phenom Coco Gauff. "I am speechless, it is a dream come true," said the 25-year-old Sakkari,...

Sakkari

Summary List Placement

All of the top 16 seeds have now been knocked out of the women’s draw of the French Open.

Defending champion and eighth seed Iga Swiatek became the latest and last high profile name to be dumped out of the tournament after she was beaten by Greece’s Maria Sakkari in the quarterfinal on Wednesday.

17th seed Sakkari beat Swiatek 6-4, 6-4 to book her place in her maiden Grand Slam semifinal, where she will face unseeded Barbora Krejcikova, who earlier this week dumped out teenage phenom Coco Gauff.

“I am speechless, it is a dream come true,” said the 25-year-old Sakkari, who is now the highest ranked player left in the women’s draw, after her win over Swiatek.

“It is a very nice feeling.”

Sakkari has also beaten fourth seed Sofia Kenin and Belgian 14th seed Elise Mertens on her way to the last four, while her semifinal opponent Krejcikova has knocked out both Gauff and fifth seed Elina Svitolina.

In the other women’s semifinal, 31st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will face unseeded Slovenian Tamara Zidansek, both of whom have also ousted big names en route to the semifinals. 

Pavlyuchenkova has eliminated third seed Aryna Sabalenka and two-time Australian Open winner Victoria Azarenka, while Zidansek beat sixth seed Biancu Andreescu in the first round.

Osaka

Elsewhere in the women’s draw at Roland-Garros, world number one Ashleigh Barty withdrew through injury, Serena Williams crashed out in the fourth round, and Naomi Osaka pulled out for mental health reasons.

Osaka, 23, withdrew from the Grand Slam after she was fined $15,000 for failing to attend a post-match press conference.

Prior to the tournament, she had announced that she would not be talking to the media in order to protect her mental health. Upon withdrawing, the Japanese star revealed that she had been suffering from bouts of depression. 

“I get really nervous and find it stressful to always engage and give you the best answers I can,” she wrote in a statement. “So here in Paris I was already feeling vulnerable and anxious so I thought it was better to exercise self-care and skip the press conferences.

“I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis going on in Paris. I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer.”

While the women’s draw has seen all of its top players eliminated, however, the men’s draw could not look more different, with four of the top six seeds making up the semifinals.

World number one and top seed Novak Djokovic beat Matteo Berrettini to tee up a last four clash with 13-time winner and third seed Rafael Nadal. In the other semi, youngsters Stefanos Tsitsipas and Alexander Zverev, seeded fifth and sixth, will go head-to-head.

Zverev will hope to reach a second Grand Slam final after losing to Dominic Thiem in the 2020 US Open final, while Tsitsipas is looking to reach a first ever final, having lost in three times in three semifinal appearances.

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