Defending champion Iga Swiatek was dumped out of the French Open after Maria Sakkari staged a sensational upset in the quarter-finals.
Swiatek was red-hot favourite to repeat her run to the trophy after the other top 10 seeds were eliminated before the last eight as the women’s draw was ripped open.
But Sakkari produced a brilliant display of serving and powerful groundstrokes to overawe the 20-year-old Pole and come through 6-4 6-4 on Court Philippe-Chatrier.
Swiatek made a bright start breaking her opponent at the first time of asking, but Sakkari bit straight back to make up for her early lapse.
Sakkari grew rapidly into the contest and Swiatek wasted three break points after standing firm in her own service game, rescuing four break points.
Swiatek eventually wilted under pressure from a confident Sakkari – who was serving beautifully – and the underdog took the first set 6-4.
Swaitek continued to look out of sorts and took a comfort break between sets. The second set was far more straight forward for Sakkari despite some interruptions. Sakkari broke Swiatek in the first game before the Pole called for her trainer.
Swaitek appeared to have a knee problem and her trainer was seen stretching out her right leg. The Pole then disappeared off court for further treatment and returned with heavy strapping on her leg.
The break knocked Sakkari off her stride briefly, but the 25-year-old never looked like she would let slip her grip on the match.
Sakkari showed no mercy and quickly rediscovered her rhythm and was almost invincible on her first serve, with a 94% success rate in the second set.
With the defending champion there for the taking, Sakkari raced into a 5-3 lead and was able to serve out the match, taking full advantage of three match points.
The number 17 seed will play Barbora Krejcikova in the semi-final, who beat Coco Gauff earlier in the day on Wednesday, and Sakkari was visibly elated with the shock victory.
“It’s a very nice feeling. I couldn’t have done it without my team and their support. We have a long way to go but we made it today,” she said.
“I’m not going to say our little secrets. I just really enjoyed the match.”
“I sat down by myself and 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 had to enjoy it.”