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French Open 2021: Nadal beats Schwartzman, Sakkari takes out Swiatek – as it happened

sportsman

Active member
Rafael Nadal is on course for a 14th title at Roland Garros, while Iga Swiatek, the defending champion, is out after defeat to Maria Sakkari

5.37pm BST

That’s it from me today. Join me tomorrow for the first of the semi-finals.

Here’s Tumaini’s report on Sakkari’s win from earlier, which was another remarkable win, maybe the biggest upset of the tournament. Cheerio!

5.25pm BST

I always feel the support from my family [his father and sister are in the stands]. The real support, without pressure. I can’t thank them enough, and my team that was very similar to when I was younger. Also my fans, who support me in my low moments. It is not easy for a 35-year-old to be here!

5.21pm BST

Schwartzman walks off court. For two and a half hours, he was Nadal’s equal and the crowd know that. They chant “Diego, Diego” as he trudges off with a small wave.

5.19pm BST

Fourth set: Nadal* 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 6-0 Schwartzman (*denotes next server) A heavy serve to 15-0. A ferocious forehand down the line for 30-0. A cross-court thwack for 40-0. Schwartzman just spins his racket into the air, completely dumbfounded as to what else to do. Nadal nicks one over the net, Schwartzman bunts his halfway up it for match point. That’s it. The last set was an utter procession, Nadal lost just seven points in it. Crazy behaviour for a 35-year-old.

5.14pm BST

Fourth set: Nadal* 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 5-0 Schwartzman (*denotes next server) Schwartzman rallies – as in he actually gets himself into a rally. Nadal has ever-so-slightly relented from the absurd elite level he’s been operating at for the last set or so but still gets to deuce (via a Schwartzman double fault) and closes out yet another break of serve to win his eighth game in a row. It’s hard to think of where this match once was – Nadal under the cosh, Schwartzman on top – under an hour ago. But now, Nadal serves for a place in the semi-finals. Oh, and there’s new balls.

5.08pm BST

Fourth set: Nadal 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 4-0 Schwartzman* (*denotes next server) Schwartzman is beaten. My wife has just said that watching the Argentinian is “a bit like a goalkeeper facing penalties” and it’s hard to argue with that. Nadal races to 40-0 up, and although Schwartzman has the temerity to hit a winner to go to 40-15, Nadal eases out the game with an ace. Brutal.

5.04pm BST

Fourth set: Nadal* 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 3-0 Schwartzman (*denotes next server) Schwartzman’s footwork has gone. He can’t win a point, but I don’t think there is a single player on earth that could live with Nadal in this particular mini-seam of form that the Spaniard has found. Another game to love for Nadal, this time on Schwartzman’s serve. Six games on the trot.

4.59pm BST

Fourth set: Nadal 6-3, 4-6, 5-4, 2-0 Schwartzman* (*denotes next server) To put the third set in context, Nadal missed just three first serves. Not a lot to work with, as far as Schwartzman is concerned. So while he had his moments on his own serve, he couldn’t really threaten on Nadal’s serve. So it proves in the latest game. Schwartzman looks absolutely spent, physically and mentally. Nadal’s relentless hammerblows are wearing his opponent down and he wins his service game to love. That’s 15 consecutive points for Nadal on his serve.

4.56pm BST

Fourth set: Nadal* 6-3, 4-6, 6-4, 1-0 Schwartzman (*denotes next server) Comfort break for Nadal. Another shirt change for Schwartzman. The Argentinian has got a mountain to climb, but is probably a little unlucky to be behind. But that’s what makes Rafa a champion. Hangs in there when he needs to, and makes the big points count. As so it proves in the first game of the fourth set. Nadal moves to a 15-40 lead and an errant Schwartzman forehand down the line creeps just wide. A break of serve for Nadal, his fourth game on the trot.

4.49pm BST

Nadal races to a 30-0 lead. Bounces the ball on the baseline, glances up, serves, and then unleashes an in-out forehand so devastating that wars have been won on less. The rest of the game is a procession, with Schwartzman head officially dropping. Nadal holds, takes the set, and is 2-1 up!

4.45pm BST

Third set: Nadal* 6-3, 4-6, 5-4 Schwartzman (*denotes next server) Nadal has gone up a level. There are now fistpumps. Cries of Vamos. Intent visits to wipe his brow, as though he is Donkey Kong winding up a punch for the next point. Making Schwartzman wait. His shots, crucially, also seem to have more depth, starving Schwartzman of room for his own shots. At 15-40 down, Schwartzman finds a brave backhand winner but he cannot save the second break point, with Nadal trying a drop-shot (!) and winning the battle of ensuing lobs. Schwartzman holds his head. He’s been brilliant in this third set, but finds himself down here, he’s won two points since taking a 4-3 lead. Nadal will serve for the third set.

4.40pm BST

Third set: Nadal 6-3, 4-6, 4-4 Schwartzman* (*denotes next server) The last time Nadal was two sets to one down at Roland Garros was 10 years ago. TEN! To John Isner in 2011. Don’t worry, though, he came through it.

4.35pm BST

Third set: Nadal* 6-3, 4-6, 3-4 Schwartzman (*denotes next server) Schwartzman holds to love, again! He’s moving so quickly around that baseline and Nadal is struggling to hit his customary clean winners from the back of the court. We are now into a third hour of play, half-way through the third set. If would not be a surprise to see this go the distance. It remains on serve.

4.32pm BST

Third set: Nadal 6-3, 4-6, 3-3 Schwartzman* (*denotes next server) Nadal took every second he could on that changeover. This is textbook Rafa, and he won’t be rushed on Chatrier. This is his court. But Schwartzman takes the first point, after some stout defending in the face of three Nadal overheads. I’m trying to figure out if the 35-year-old looks tired. This is certainly the hardest Nadal has had to work for a while. Nadal serves his way back to 30-30 and the combination of a awful misss from Schwartzman and a Rafa ace sees Nadal close out the game. Three-all.

4.26pm BST

Third set: Nadal* 6-3, 4-6, 2-3 Schwartzman (*denotes next server) Schwartzman holds easily, doing his best John Isner impression, although that’s actually the first time he has held to love in the match. He is looking … comfortable?!

4.24pm BST

Third set: Nadal 6-3, 4-6, 2-2 Schwartzman* (*denotes next server) This is some of the best tennis I’ve seen in quite a while. Schwartzman is probably had the better of it for the last set or so, but Nadal continues to win the cheap points with excellent serving and powerful shots that force Schwartzman into errors. Nadal holds here, 2-2.

4.20pm BST

Third set: Nadal* 6-3, 4-6, 1-2 Schwartzman (*denotes next server) Simply breathtaking from Schwartzman, who could have let that last game get to him. But he is continuing to dictate the rallies, and is also showing a deft touch at the net when requires. One drop volley here is particularly delicious. Schwartzman holds.

“Schwartzman’s guts and resilience is not a surprise, emails Arun Narayanan. “He has an amazing background story, worthy of a book or a movie. His great grandfather escaped a Nazi concentration camp and migrated to Argentina. He grew up in difficult circumstances and he and his family struggled for money when he was growing up. He was often derided for his height. And yet he has made it here, taking a set off in arguably the toughest sporting contest in the world. In all the (deserved) hoopla about the Big 3 and Murray, Wawrinka, etc. Over the last two decades (deserving, no doubt), there are so many amazing stories about other tennis players, given their diverse backgrounds, their own struggles, and their families’ struggles.”

4.15pm BST

Third set: Nadal 6-3, 4-6, 1-1 Schwartzman* (*denotes next server) Whisper it, but Nadal’s baseline shots are mis-firing. First he sends an easy forehand long, then a backhand wide. He’s 15-30 down, but clambers back to win the game. There was a big “Vamos!” from Nadal in that game. The first of the match. I think that’s very telling.

4.11pm BST

Third set: Nadal* 6-3, 4-6, 0-1 Schwartzman (*denotes next server) Schwartzman left the court between sets for a change of (identical) clothes and has come back out looking FRESH. Schwartzman is the aggressor here, combining aces with thudding groundstrokes. He’s also been very efficient off his second serve, winning 80% of his points in the second set. That figure was less than half for Nadal.

4.07pm BST

Nadal is serving to stay in the set, then, and he knows he’s in a slugfest. Another great point: Schwartzman dictates it, making his way towards the net for an overhead, but Nadal reads the direction, darts to his left and rips a forehand down the line, just over (or around) the net. Nadal’s work is undone slightly by a third double fault of the match and an unforced error sees another service game go to 30-30. Schwartzman next sends a high looping backhand right on the chalk and Nadal hits long! Set point to the Argentinian … and he gets it! An awfully constructed point for both players – both of them botched it – but Nadal again hits long and we are one set all!

3.58pm BST

Second set: Nadal* 6-3, 4-5 Schwartzman (*denotes next server) Schwartzman is really having to battle against Nadal’s spin. The Argentinian stands only 5ft7in high, smaller than female semi-finalist Maria Sakkari, which means he’s having to take most of the topspin shots at (or above head high). How difficult must it be to generate enough power to compete with Nadal? Mind blowing, but Schwartzman is doing it! He holds, and on the game’s winning point actually out-guns Nadal in a forehand battle. This, ladies and gents, is TENNIS.

3.53pm BST

Second set: Nadal 6-3, 4-4 Schwartzman* (*denotes next server) What is Nadal’s trademark shot? The one that you think of first? Probably the forehand cross-court, with more spin on it than Malcolm Tucker? Yep. But the crushing forehand down the line ain’t bad either, and that’s what we see here first up. The power, man. 15-0. Nadal goes to 30-15 but miscues an overhead in the next point, before Schwartzman sends another audacious lob over Nadal’s head onto the baseline. 30-30, a precarious position for Nadal, but Nadal’s power and precision gets him over the line. Two clean winners and we are all square at 4-4.

3.48pm BST

Second set: Nadal* 6-3, 3-4 Schwartzman (*denotes next server) WHAT A POINT. The play of the match, as Nadal gets a lucky net chord, Schwartzman dives in to play an acute cut just over the net, Nadal shovels it back over but is well out of position, Schwartzman lobs, Nadal scurries and retrieves over his shoulder before Schwartzman finishes with an overhead to Nadal’s backhand side. Woooo.

These two are putting on quite a show today #RolandGarros | @RafaelNadal | @dieschwartzman pic.twitter.com/MoBUNYQeJe

3.42pm BST

Second set: Nadal 6-3, 3-3 Schwartzman* (*denotes next server) Schwartzman has got to watch himself here. He’s playing really well, but losing points. Mentally, that is so tough to keep going. Nadal races to 40-0 and sees the game out to bring things back to 3-3. Schwartzman is not the first person to feel like this on Chatrier against Nadal. The next game is huge.

3.38pm BST

Second set: Nadal* 6-3, 2-3 Schwartzman (*denotes next server) Absolutely brutal hitting from Nadal, who starts a point about 10-feet from the baseline, and ends with his toes touching it, curling a trademark forward down the line and inside the corner. Nadal breaks, inevitably, and we are back on serve. Eeeesh.

3.34pm BST

Second set: Nadal 6-3, 1-3 Schwartzman* (*denotes next server) Nadal has won the last 36 sets he has played in Paris. Could this be the one where the run is broken? Hmmm, a straightforward game on Nadal’s serve gets things moving in the right direction for the 35-year-old. He’s 3-1 down.

3.30pm BST

Second set: Nadal* 6-3, 0-3 Schwartzman (*denotes next server) Six points in a row for Schwartzman, who races into a 30-0 lead before Nadal’s topspin finally gets the better of him. But this is heartening stuff from the Argentinian, who consolidates his break with a good hold. Woof.

3.26pm BST

Second set: Nadal 6-3, 0-2 Schwartzman* (*denotes next server) Nadal comes to the net (!!!) and gets punished, with Schwartzman hurling a forehand towards the Spaniard’s shoelaces. From 30-0 down, all of a sudden Schwartzman has a chance to break and smashes an in-out forehand cross court, which Nadal can only shunt into the net. Schwartzman breaks! Game on!

3.23pm BST

Second set: Nadal* 6-3, 0-1 Schwartzman (*denotes next server) Just as he did in the first set, Schwartzman starts well, this time with a comfortable hold. He needs to be aggressive if he has any chance from here. He’s capable of beating Nadal, as he did at the Italian Open last year in straight sets.

3.15pm BST

First set: Nadal 6-3 Schwartzman. The Spaniard serves out the set easily enough - although he does produce another double fault - evidence perhaps that Schwartzman’s impressive start has unsettled him a tad? Anyway, that’s the 36th set Nadal has won in a row at Roland Garros. Astonishing stuff. And with that, I will hand you back to Michael Butler.

3.10pm BST

First set: Nadal* 5-3 Schwartzman - Three breaks of serve in a row now! The Argentinian shows huge character to battle back from 0-40 down - but then, shockingly, double faults to gift the advantage back to the Spaniard. The following rally is another punishing affair, with both players striking the ball wonderfully. But Schwartzman sends a forehand long - and Nadal can serve for the opening set.

3.04pm BST

First set: Nadal 4-3 Schwartzman* - Just when I thought Nadal had firmly established the narrative for this match, with his first break of serve, the world No 10 breaks straight back for 4-3! A rare double fault during that game from Nadal, and a strangely mishit forehand that sank into the net and handed Schwartzman three gilt-edged break points.

3.00pm BST

First set: Nadal* 4-2 Schwartzman - Power and precision is the name of the game for Nadal who rushes to 0-40 on the Argentinian’s serve and then clips a dismissive forehand winner which kisses the line and seals the first service break of the match. The Argentinian has done very little wrong, and yet, he was simply not in that last game and was utterly powerless to combat the Spaniard’s brilliance on this surface.

2.56pm BST

First set: Nadal 3-2 Schwartzman* - the Spaniard hammers a forehand winner, angled crosscourt, to bring up his latest hold. That was far from straightforward though: Schwartzman made a big statement of intent with his own crushing, clean winner in the first point of the game. The level is very high, and Schwartzman is setting about his work with relish, genuinely wanting to take Nadal on at his own game.

2.49pm BST

First set: Nadal* 2-2 Schwartzman. Gutsy and skilful stuff from the Argentinian to fire back from 15-40 and eventually hold serve - including a stunning lob to fashion the advantage from which he takes the game. Well played!

2.46pm BST

Now serving, Schwartzman sends another ambitious attempted winner wide - then nets forehand to hand Nadal a couple of break points. The Argentinian saves both, launching himself into his groundstrokes and forcing Nadal on to the back foot. Great stuff.

2.43pm BST

Nadal rounds off a comfortable hold with a textbook looping, swerving forehand winner down the line at the end of an attritional baseline rally. It’s 2-1 and with serve. Schwartzman has started impressively in this match, but Nadal mostly looks more comfortable in the rallies so far, which is hardly surprising.

2.37pm BST

Whoah! Schwartzman drills a big backhand winner from outside the tramlines that bounces precisely in the corner to make it 15-15. Attack is going to be the best form of defence ... he follows that up with another fizzing winner that wrongfoots the 13-times champion, and holds serve comfortably, rewarded for his attacking intent. It’s 1-1 and with serve in the first.

2.36pm BST

Nadal holds serve comfortably to begin the match: that opening game was notable for Schwartzman clearly being ready and willing to take on his shots. He hit one particularly ambitious forehand down the line that bounced wide.

2.32pm BST

Nadal v Schwartzman is under way.

Meanwhile, some Coco Gauff quotes here (courtesy of PA Media) on her defeat by Krejcikova earlier today: “I’m obviously disappointed that I wasn’t able to close out the first set. To be honest, it’s in the past, it already happened. After the match, Enzo, my hitting partner, told me this match will probably make me a champion in the future. I really do believe that.

2.28pm BST

Now, Nadal and Schwartzman are out on Court Philippe-Chatrier for their quarter-final meeting. The sun continues to beat down on the healthy smattering of fans in the arena, who will be hoping the Argentinian can find a way to trouble the king of clay.

2.26pm BST

Sakkari’s winning moment:

Consider the moment seized

In her first career major quarter-final, @mariasakkari earns the upset over defending champ and No.8 seed Iga Swiatek 6-4, 6-4. She'll face Krejcikova for a spot in the final.#RolandGarros pic.twitter.com/y4cWZwUnn2

2.22pm BST

The women’s singles semi-final lineup is confirmed:

Barbora Krejcikova v Maria Sakkari (17)
Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (31) v Tamara Zidansek

2.17pm BST

Thanks, Michael. It was just last year that Iga Swiatek announced herself on the global stage by winning this tournament, but that still feels like a seismic shock that Maria Sakkari has just pulled off. It will be interesting to hear Swiatek speak so we can find out a bit more the extent of her injury. Has she paid a price for a demanding run in the doubles competition, too?

2.12pm BST

Gonna grab some lunch. Here’s Luke McLaughlin to take you through the next 45 mins-hour.

2.10pm BST

As for Swiatek, a disappointing end to what seemed to be another very promising tournament. She left Chatrier with her head bowed, and we don’t know physically how she was struggling with that strapped right thigh. That’s only her second ever defeat at Roland Garros, she just couldn’t compete with Sakkari today, who is a real dark horse for the title this year.

2.08pm BST

I’m speechless! My gameplan? I’m not going to tell, as we will play again for sure. I spoke to myself. It’s a very important match, but just enjoy it. This is one of the best stadiums in the world so I have to enjoy it.

She also is invited to speak in her native Greek, but I’m afraid I haven’t the foggiest what she said. With her compatriot Stefanos Tsitsipas due to play in the men’s semi-final on Friday against Alexander Zverev, what a tournament this is for Greek tennis.

2.04pm BST

Absolutely magnificent from Sakkari. She plays a deft drop shot to leave Swiatek stranded in the first point, aces her opponent in her second and hits a cross-court winner to bring her three match points. The crowd rise to cheer, but Sakkari looks eager to get on with it. Fair play to Swiatek, though, who twice hits fierce return winners to save two match points, but the Pole can only bunt the third return into the tramlines. Sakkari wins, and sinks to her knees in celebration! Wow!

1.58pm BST

Second set: Sakkari* 6-4, 5-4 Swiatek (*denotes next server) It doesn’t look like Swiatek is struggling physically, but she’s certainly not hitting her shots. Sakkari slightly let’s her off the hook in this game with some unusually sloppy shots, but the 25-year-old seems happy to save her energy for the next decisive service game.

1.54pm BST

Second set: Sakkari 6-4, 5-3 Swiatek* (*denotes next server) This is brilliant, clean hitting from Sakkari. Swiatek has no answer to the first serves, which vary in pace and direction, the last of which closes out the game with an ace. Swiatek is serving to stay in the match.

1.51pm BST

Second set: Sakkari* 6-4, 4-3 Swiatek (*denotes next server) Swiatek goes to 40-15 before Sakkari rips a venomous cross-court forehand. The Pole is lucky with a couple of breaks off the net, and just about holds her serve, although it is more down to Sakkari missing her shots than Swiatek making her’s. Two more games for a semi-final at Roland Garros, and you wouldn’t bet against Sakkari, she’s won 80% of her first serves.

1.48pm BST

Second set: Sakkari 6-4, 4-2 Swiatek* (*denotes next server) Absolutely ruthless serving from Sakkari. Two aces to hold her serve and indeed her nerve. Let’s not underestimate how difficult it was to come through her opponent’s medical timeout with the same winning mentality.

1.46pm BST

Second set: Sakkari* 6-4, 3-2 Swiatek (*denotes next server) Swiatek is once again under pressure, two break points down. But she hits a clean winner, and sarcastically throws her arms up into the air as if to say to the crowd: “Wayyyyy, I actually won one!” However demonstrative that gesture might be, it seems to have given Swiatek a bit of confidence and she cruises to a service hold with a series of brilliant winners. We’re not at last-chance saloon but she’s going for her shots, which is more than she was doing at the start of the set.

1.40pm BST

Second set: Sakkari 6-4, 3-1 Swiatek* (*denotes next server) Sakkari finds her rhythm once more with the one-two punch of drop shots and devastating, deep groundstrokes. From her in-game grunts to the celebratory cheers, Sakkari is certainly a lot more vocal on court, with constant glances to her encouraging corner. Perhaps she is winning the mental battle as well as the physical one. The Greek goes 3-1 up.

1.38pm BST

Second set: Sakkari* 6-4, 2-1 Swiatek (*denotes next server) Swiatek is certainly moving OK, and after going to 40-15, she hits a wonderful forehand down the line – a shot she has been struggling with all day – that finds the corner. Nobody would accuse Swiatek of gamesmanship, but Sakkari must be quietly fuming at the momentum change. She was flying before her opponent’s medical timeout.

1.33pm BST

Sakkari is now pacing around the baseline, restless. Swiatek has three minutes to resolve whatever her physical issue is. The defending comes back on court to lukewarm applause from the 5,000-strong crowd. Swiatek has some strapping on her right thigh. That’s nearly 10 minutes without any tennis. Let’s hope the Pole is OK to continue.

1.30pm BST

Sakkari doesn’t look best pleased, as she sits in her seat, waiting for Swiatek, who has had to actually leave Chatrier for a medical timeout. The trainer was looking at the top of her thigh, perhaps something to do with Swiatek’s hip? There certainly seems to be a bit of stiffness in her twisting, which is obviously important to just about any tennis shot.

1.28pm BST

Second set: Sakkari 6-4, 2-0 Swiatek* (*denotes next server) An easy hold for Sakkari, who is continuing to dominate. That’s five games on the bounce, after being 4-3 down in the first set. Perhaps that wasn’t a comfort break for Swiatek between the two sets, as she is calling on the trainer/doctor. What is the isssue here? It’s unclear, but whatever it is, it stops the momentum of the match irreversibly into Sakkari’s favour, albeit briefly.

1.24pm BST

Second set: Sakkari* 6-4, 1-0 Swiatek (*denotes next server) Swiatek briefly left the court in the break, presumably to pop to the loo, but also to try and get her head around what just happened there. After a quick start, it’s been all Sakkari. And so it proves here in the second set. The comfort break does Swiatek no good as her forehand completely abandons her. Sakkari breaks once more – the Greek’s defence is ferocious, she covers the back of the court so quickly and Swiatek is left reaching for shots that she has no chance of making at present.

1.18pm BST

Finally, Swiatek wakes from her slumber, punishing a sloppy second serve with a cross-court forehand that felt like it was hit with a lot of anger. But Sakkari responds with her own blows, seeing a set point saved by Swiatek before the Greek save a break point with a frankly ridiculous second serve, which bounces so high and wide that even prime Andy Murray would have a job getting to it. Back to deuce then, but before a flurry of Sakkari groundstrokes slowly wears Swiatek down. The first set belongs to the underdog! The defending champion has a real job on her hands, here!

1.07pm BST

First set: Sakkari* 5-4 Swiatek (*denotes next server) You have to say that Sakkari is looking the more lilely to win this set – fistbumps a plenty as she defends stoutly from the back of the court and takes her chances to hit clean winners when she can. Two break points for the Greek, then, and Swiatek skews one well right to give Sakkari the break! Sakkari will serve for the first set!

1.03pm BST

First set: Sakkari 4-4 Swiatek* (*denotes next server) Sakkari has such a unique serve, particularly her second serve. Her toss is so far behind her sometimes that he appears to be at a right angle. The result is serve that, although slow-ish, kicks viciously off the clay. SO MUCH SPIN. It’s too much for Swiatek, who cedes the game to love.

1.00pm BST

First set: Sakkari* 3-4 Swiatek (*denotes next server) A brief pause with some small amount of alarm in the crowd. Has somebody fainted? It’s unclear but there is a small crowd of people congregated around somebody high up in the stands. The players wait, but it doesn’t seem a serious issue, whatever it is. Swiatek uses the pause to reset and serves to love. It’s not her best stuff, but she leads the first set. One of the best things about her game is how she rushes her opponents into shots, and that’s exactly what happens here: Sakkari hitting into the net and then long.

12.57pm BST

First set: Sakkari 3-3 Swiatek* (*denotes next server) Sakkari is definitely winning the battle of the body language, bobbing up and down on the baseline between points, while Swiatek has a perma-grimace written all over her face. You feel like Swiatek has a couple of gears to go up yet, with Sakkari dominated the rallies, pinning Swiatek back with ground strokes before a lovely drop shot leaves the Pole stranded at the back of the court. A good hold for Sakkari.

12.53pm BST

First set: Sakkari* 2-3 Swiatek (*denotes next server) The first audible grunts float across the airwaves from Sakkari as she feels her way into this match. Swiatek, still silent, misses a forehand down the line – she struggled with that shot in the previous round against Marta Kostyuk – before a double fault hands two break points to Sakkari. Swiatek battles back to deuce. A ridiculous cross-court winner from Sakkari is cancelled out by a Swiatek first serve down the middle, before the Pole tempts her opponent in with a drop shot and then fires a fierce winner past Sakkari to close out the game.

12.46pm BST

First set: Sakkari 2-2 Swiatek* (*denotes next server) Two break points down and Sakkari pulls out two pearling serves to force deuce. Sakkari has never been this far before at the French Open, and has also beaten her mother, Angeliki Kanellopoulou, in that regard, who reached the third round at Roland Garros in 1985 and 1987. Both players exchange clean winners on consecutive points, before Sakkari saves break point with a 112mph serve down the middle. It’s the second serve where the Greek is struggling, winning just 13% of her points, but she again serves a fast, first one down the T to secure a crucial hold after facing four break points.

12.38pm BST

First set: Sakkari* 1-2 Swiatek (*denotes next server) Sakkari breaks straight back! Have to say that it’s been a poor start to the match, quality wise. Both are missing their mark, rather than hitting clean winners. Swiatek is normally so consistent, last year she became the first woman since Justine Henin in 2007 to win Roland Garros without dropping a set.

12.34pm BST

First set: Sakkari 0-2 Swiatek* (*denotes next server) Sakkari looks really nervous and can’t seem to string together any sort of rally. Swiatek, in contrast, looks set. She looks so comfortable on clay and doesn’t mind coming to the net. It’s an easy break for the defending champion.

12.30pm BST

First set: Sakkari* 0-1 Swiatek (*denotes next server) A few looseners in that first game, especially from Sakkari, who shunted a couple long and wide. In the end, an easy hold for the defending champion.

12.25pm BST

These two are good mates and trained together prior to this tournament. Swiatek also hit with Nadal before Roland Garros, which can’t of harmed. Sakkari should not be underestimated though, she’s a powerful player that doesn’t mind going for her shots.

12.23pm BST

There are 5,000 people inside Chatrier today, and 13,000 throughout the grounds. Sakkari elects to receive, so Swiatek will serve first. It’s around 27 degs on court in Paris, beautiful conditions, just as it is outside my London flat right now.

12.20pm BST

Nobody has lost fewer games than Iga Swiatek going into this match, The defending champion remains the only grand slam winner left in the women’s singles draw. The eight seed is surely the favourite against Maria Sakkari, despite being just 20 years old. Let’s recap on last year’s triumph.

Related: Iga Swiatek demolishes Sofia Kenin in final to make French Open history

12.13pm BST

For any young readers (or parents) out there …

Related: Take part in the third Young Sportswriter of the Year competition

12.12pm BST

Next up on Chatrier: Maria Sakkari v Iga Swiatek.

A reminder of what else we’ve got for you today later on in the men’s singles quarter-finals:

12.06pm BST

I don’t realise what I have done. I just came here without a good start to a clay season. Now that I’m here in a semi-finals. I never imagined I would be here on this court, especially in singles. This is something that I never could have dreamed of.

The first set was really important. Just I just wanted to enjoy it. I was always behind her a little bit but I made it somehow. The second set I was leading but then got a little bit tired.

12.02pm BST

Krejcikova deserves this. She looked shaky at the start, came through some break points in the first set when all looked lost, and has had the quality to despatch Gauff when she has been on top. Ranked 33 in the world, she looked every inch a top 10 player here, and definitely capable of winning her first grand slam title.

Nerves of steel in the last game of the match. She started to go for her shots again, rather than let Gauff dictate the rallies as she has done the last three matches, and goes to 40-0 up. Three more match points down, Gauff can only hit wide and Krejcikova throws her hands in the air. Her face is more surprised than jubilant, but what a moment for the 25-year-old! Her first grand slam semi-final. A year ago, she was outside the top 100!

11.58am BST

Second set: Gauff 6-7 (6), 3-5 Krejcikova* (*denotes next server) Gauff goes to a 30-0 lead but Krejcikova pegs her back before edging a rally to take her to her fourth match point! Second serve, and Gauff bunts one up the T! The guts on this teenager! For all her poorness in this second set, the American can be clutch. A fifth match point for Krejcikova comes and goes, before Gauff closes out the game. Wow! Gauff is motoring! Can Krejcikova hold her nerve?

11.51am BST

Second set: Gauff* 6-7 (6), 2-5 Krejcikova (*denotes next server) A wonderful Krejcikova backhand down the line sets up three match points, but Gauff somehow makes it back to deuce! A mixture of Krejcikova choking on some easy baseline shots and Gauff’s gutsy plays. At 40-30 up, with Gauff stranded out wide, Krejcikova had the whole court to aim for to win the match, but she hits wide into the tramlines! And Gauff comes back to break! She couldn’t? Could she?

11.44am BST

Second set: Gauff 6-7 (6), 1-5 Krejcikova* (*denotes next server) Up until that double fault, I’m not sure how many consecutive points Krejcikova won but I would guess around a dozen. Gauff can’t win a grand slam quarter final with those numbers. A brief hiatus at 5-0 down, as Gauff briefly gathers herself – despite a couple of bad errors, including one errant volley that she shoved well long of the baseline, she aces out wide to hold her serve, and secure her first game of the second set. But Krejcikova will serve for the match.

11.40am BST

Second set: Gauff* 6-7 (6), 0-5 Krejcikova (*denotes next server) Gauff can’t a single shot in. Krejcikova races to another 40-0 lead on serve, and it is only a double fault that stops yet another hold of serve to love. Gauff is surely beaten, and Krejcikova is one game away from a semi-final at Roland Garros!

11.38am BST

Second set: Gauff 6-7 (6), 0-4 Krejcikova* (*denotes next server) The crowd try their best to get Gauff going, but the American looks on the verge of tears as she hits a double fault into the net at 0-40 down on her own serve. Her racket gets a good smashing, three separate blows on the clay leave it twisted and broken. A warning from the umpire, complete head loss from Gauff. This is easy for Krejcikova.

11.35am BST

Second set: Gauff* 6-7 (6), 0-3 Krejcikova (*denotes next server) The sound of an ambulance can be heard careering down some Parisian street outside Chatrier, and one can’t help feeling that it might be for Gauff, who is playing herself out of the tournament here. Krejcikova is doing nothing special, simply bunting it back the other end, as Gauff hits long and wide, time after time. A hold to love.

11.32am BST

Second set: Gauff 6-7 (6), 0-2 Krejcikova* (*denotes next server) Gauff is slightly wavering here. Her decision making has deteriorated, and Krejcikova is quite happy to stay in the rally with big looping shots that come down with snow on to land on Gauff’s baseline and the American is unable to use her power effectively. Clever, clever tennis from Krejcikova, who only needs one break point to race to a 2-0 lead in the second set!

11.29am BST

Second set: Gauff* 6-7 (6), 0-1 Krejcikova (*denotes next server) I still have no idea who is going to win this match. The quality of tennis in that first set ranged from top drawer to mediocre, particularly the serving. Again this looks like Krejcikova’s weakness as Gauff threatens with another break point. But Gauff looks a little too eager to capitalise on Krejcikova’s serving and she hits a return into a net before Krejcikova holds.

11.21am BST

An early mini-break for Krejcikova but she hands back the advantage with a double fault, her sixth of the set. But now Gauff does the same, her fifth double fault of the match so far. It looks very hot now on Chatrier, and I wonder if the sun is blinding the pair as they serve? Krejcikova looks set to go to a 4-2 lead in the tie-break but bins an easy shot into the net, and complains to the umpire about a call from the crowd that put her off. Will that throw the Czech off? Things aren’t helped as Gauff clips one off the net to go 5-4 up and then hits an unforced error barely half-way up the net. Two set points for Gauff! Krejcikova responds, just as she has all set, two clean forehand winner just when she needed it! We’re back to 6-6 in the tiebreak! What cajones from Krejcikova, who now forces her own set point … and she gets it with a serve out wide and forehand winner! I’m not quite sure how, but the Czech player is halfway to her first ever grand slam semi-final!

11.09am BST

First set: Gauff* 6-6 Krejcikova (*denotes next server) Gauff races to 0-30, showing a bit of patience in the rally that has been missing this set. She is often so desperate to play the Hollywood winner, which is so often is capable of hitting, but forgets to play the percentages, which of courses makes for much more entertaining tennis. Krejcikova is having issues with her ball toss, but battles back to 30-30. This feels like a microcosm of the first set. Gauff gets to set point, and despite two more ball tosses that nearly end up next to the corporate seats, Krejcikova somehow gets back to deuce. Again, Gauff gets to break point with a outrageous winner on the run, before Krejcikova saves her set with her first backhand winner of the match, landing just inside the line. What a time to pull that one out! Gauff is the one to crumble now, with two unforced errors, and Krejcikova somehow holds! To a tie-break we go!

11.01am BST

First set: Gauff 6-5 Krejcikova* (*denotes next server) Spectacular from both players, but Gauff in particular. The American gets to a drop volley, hits a clean winner with two feet fully off the ground, and then somehow scrambles to hit a sublime forehand up the line. At 40-15, she serves out the game. Absolutely ridiculous. Gauff is absolutely ridiculous. Krejcikova was powerless there but it remains on serve.

10.56am BST

First set: Gauff* 5-5 Krejcikova (*denotes next server) As simple a hold as you are ever likely to see from Krejcikova, who even threw in a slice (!!!) to change up the pace and unnerve Gauff.

10.54am BST

First set: Gauff 5-4 Krejcikova* (*denotes next server) Gauff’s first ace takes her to 30-15, before another takes her to set point at 40-30. A huge scream from the American carries around Chatrier. She is FIRED UP! But then! A wayward Gauff backhand and a double fault hands break point to Krejcikova, before Gauff bins a simple shot into the net. We’re back on serve! Really difficult to predict where this set and match is going to go. Both players are hitting aces, winners and double faults, looking equally sublime and ridiculous in the process.

10.50am BST

First set: Gauff* 5-3 Krejcikova (*denotes next server) Krejcikova beginning to win a few cheap point on her serve – she wants to keep the rallies short if she can, as Gauff’s mobility around the court is far superior. Gauff isn’t playing her best but gets to break point, and bullies her way past the Czech with a ripping crosscourt forehand. Gauff will serve for the first set!

10.42am BST

First set: Gauff 4-3 Krejcikova* (*denotes next server) It’s only when the camera focuses on Gauff’s face that we remember how young she is. She’s got to show a little bit of maturity here, having lost the last three games. Three double faults in the game don’t help her here in this game, and a couple of errant ball tosses maybe betray her own nerves. But a clever serve out wide sends Krejcikova nearly hurtling into the stands and Gauff holds to break the run of games in her favour. We’re on serve.

10.38am BST

First set: Gauff* 3-3 Krejcikova (*denotes next server) A break point down, Krejcikova fires her first ace up the T to relieve some pressure before a second ace sets up game point. Krejcikova hits a heavy ball out wide, Gauff cannot retrieve and suddenly we’re all square!

10.35am BST

First set: Gauff 3-2* Krejcikova (*denotes next server) OK, OK, looks like we’ve got ourselves a ball game. Again, Gauff shows signs of her power and accuracy in some points, but Krejcikova is growing into this match. Her baseline shots are getting deeper and fiercer and she’s looking like she’s enjoying herself now. Gauff hits long and we’re a break each at 3-2!

10.30am BST

First set: Gauff* 3-1 Krejcikova (*denotes next server) Krejcikova gets on the board with her first game and cracks her first smile of the day. It looks like the weight of the world has lifted off of her shoulders now that she knows that she won’t be bagelled. A real battling hold that, because in between a few sloppy errors, Gauff put on an exhibition of fabulous shots, from backhand winners to a deft drop volley at the net, to a wonderful scrambling defence to cover the baseline.

10.23am BST

Welcome to Wednesday’s French Open liveblog. Coco Gauff kicks things off on Philippe-Chatrier against Barbora Krejcikova. At 17, she is the youngest grand slam quarter-finalist for 15 years, but you can’t help feeling that this is just another tiny milestone in what will surely be a remarkable career.

Both players will be nervous, though. The unseeded Krejcikova beat Sloane Stephens to reach this stage but admitted afterwards that she nearly didn’t take the court in the fourth-round due to nerves. She is traditionally a doubles player, but this is the first time she has reached the last eight of a grand slam.
 
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