Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and Barbora Krejcikova meet in one of the unlikeliest French Open women’s finals.
For the second time in the Open Era, all four women’s semifinalists at a Grand Slam were first-timers.
Pavlyuchenkova, Krejcikova, Maria Sakkari and Tamara Zidansek were the final four in Paris. Sakkari was the highest-ranked of the bunch at No. 18 in the world.
Sakkari knocked off defending champion and favorite Iga Swiatek of Poland in the quarterfinals after the world’s top three players were all out of the draw before the third round, none having lost a completed match.
Ash Barty, the top seed and 2019 champion, retired during her second-round match with a hip injury.
No. 2 seed Naomi Osaka, who has never made it past the third round in Paris, withdrew after her first-round win, citing mental health struggles.
Simona Halep, the world No. 3, withdrew before the tournament with a calf tear.
Swiatek won the title last autumn as the world’s 54th-ranked player in the best combination of unheralded Grand Slam dominance in more than 40 years. Swiatek is seeded eighth.
Serena Williams, a three-time French Open champion (last in 2015), lost in the fourth round to No. 21 seed Elena Rybakina of Kazakhstan. Williams hasn’t reached the quarterfinals in Paris since returning from childbirth.
No. 24 seed Coco Gauff, at 17 the youngest woman to be seeded at a Slam since 2006, reached her first Slam quarterfinal, falling to Krejcikova.
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