Simply spectacular the battle that they left us Barbora Krejcikova Y Maria sakkari in the second semifinal of Roland Garros 2021 in female category. The Czech took the cat into the water after a 3 hour and 18 minute duel resolved by a score of 7-5, 4-6 and 9-7. One match point even had to save Krejcikova to be in Saturday’s grand final against Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova. Game of those that will be remembered for a long time for the agony, the script changes and the contrast between the two players.
The second women’s semi-final at Roland Garros 2021 was a very clear and attractive clash of styles. Between the direct, very flat and elegant game of the Czech Krejcikova and the claw, delivery, muscle and topspin of the Greek Sakkari. Many comings and goings in the first set as expected between the two. They played a lot, none had been seen before in one of these, not even close. Better Maria at the beginning, more solid and aggressive, sending on a somewhat slow-legged Barbora. But the inertia would change as the set progressed.
The Czech was warming her legs and hands, unleashing her dry and direct blows, hurting Sakkari and dismantling her baseline game. Cutting the rhythm what he could and defending to change the rhythm to the Greek, more comfortable with the intense and consistent rally than with the change of effects and speeds. First ‘break’ up the Greek but later it would be the Czech that would rise to 5-3. A great game to the rest of Sakkari and there was a new set. The sleeve would be lengthened to the limit of the ‘tiebreak’. There the nerves would come back to the Athens, who between double fault and some uncontrolled right left the first set on a tray to the 25-year-old central European who sealed 7-5 in 55 minutes. Stability at key moments, the determining factor for Krejcikova to hit first in the match.
Very strange the second sleeve that would await us. With some more than notable swings. After winning the first set, Krejcikova was going to hit a monumental downturn, filling up with unforced errors. A player who goes to the limit on many occasions, without margin for error and who was noticing the mental effort of the first set. Sakkari was going to take advantage of it to lead clearly 4-0. Everything seemed to indicate that sooner rather than later we would be in the final set. But none of that. The Greek did not know how to define and Krejcikova would regain inspiration and success with her direct blows to cut differences. Narrowing distances and putting fear in the body of the Athenian, who with only a ‘break’ advantage had to suffer a lot at 5-4 to finally make the second act his own and extend the game in a very exciting way. Turning on the audience the Greek as she won the set, knowing that the battle was going to be very passionate and in those struggles she was the strongest by far.
That inertia was going to spread in the last round. In the third game Sakkari broke Krejcikova’s serve to get even closer to the final victory and the move to the grand final on Saturday. The Czech had flashes of great play but was clearly more unstable than Maria, with fewer ups and downs than in previous sets. With a fierce determination to win the match, Sakkari kept up her serving turns, cutting her way to the finish. A locked match, tight, but in which the Greek was unbalanced in her favor with a stronger mentality than Krejcikova.
Dramatic end of encounter
There was undoubtedly the best of the game, the final stage. It seemed that Sakkari had everything to win and more forcing the rest to the Czech. At 5-3, Sakkari had match point, but was fantastically saved by Krejcikova. Later and with a turn to serve, the Greek got stuck, unable to close and the duel dragged on dramatically. A battle of nerves, tension, strokes of great tennis of the two and jams. Impossible to predict match champion. The Czech would have several match balls to close the rest but one after another the Helena saved them with great courage and bravery. Already at 8-7, a seemingly bad ball from Sakkari was to be corrected by chair umpire Pierre Bacchi. Unfairly. He had raised his arms to the sky and to Krejcikova. He continued to play without too many complaints and finally, after another chance to close, a short ball from Sakkari would be solved with a house-brand-winning parallel backhand to send Brno to the grand finale of the tournament after a battle worth remembering.