Sakkari's grand slam breakthrough in Paris

·2-min read

Maria Sakkari is one of a record six women to reach the quarter-finals of a grand slam for the first time, advancing to the last eight at the French Open.

Sakkari wasted little time in dispatching fourth-seeded Sofia Kenin 6-1 6-3 in one hour and eight minutes.

"I was stuck in the third round a lot of times, and that was an obstacle," the 17th-seeded Sakkari said after becoming the first Greek woman to reach the last eight of a slam singles.

"I wanted to just kind of break that curse and make it to the fourth round. Now I'm excited to be in the quarter-finals for the first time."

Sakkari will face defending champion Iga Swiatek for a place in the semi-finals after the Pole accounted for teenager Marta Kostyuk 6-3 6-4.

"I knew it was going to come. I didn't know when," Sakkari said.

"But I think that I've been playing very good tennis, especially this year, and I don't see why (I can't go) further as well."

Kenin, the highest-seeded player left in the women's draw, blamed jitters for her fourth-round exit.

The American lost serve six times and had 32 unforced errors as Sakkari made her pay for her errant play.

"Nerves got the better of me," Kenin said.

"Definitely I need some work on that. It's really disappointing. I had some tough matches and I was able to win, I was able to deal with my nerves.

"And today obviously it's really frustrating, I get here and I completely lose it. There's a lot of mental work to be done."

Last year Kenin won the Australian Open and was the runner-up at Roland Garros but she has just a 10-9 record in 2021.

Last month announced she no longer would be coached by her father, Alex.

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