Salem Radio Network News Thursday, August 18, 2022

Sports

Tennis-Road opens up for Swiatek as Sakkari loses in second round in Paris

(Reuters) – Another obstacle on top seed Iga Swiatek’s path to a second French Open title was removed on Wednesday as fourth seed Maria Sakkari was knocked out 7-6(5) 7-6(4) by Czech Karolina Muchova in the second round at Roland Garros.

Sakkari, a semi-finalist here last year, never found her groove on Court Suzanne Lenglen as her opponent, who reached the last four at the Australian Open last year, set up a meeting with American Amanda Anisimova.

The Greek is the latest casualty among the top seeds after Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur (6) and defending champion Barbora Krejcikova (2) were knocked out in the first round.

World number one and red hot favourite Swiatek and third seed Paula Badosa are the only two players from the top six left in the women’s draw.

“It’s very special. It was a big fight it was a big test for me, a challenge and I’m happy I won in two sets,” said Muchova, whose last 12 months have been hampered by injuries.

Sakkari, who had showed weaknesses in the first round against French hope Clara Burel, was outplayed initially and fell 5-2 down.

Facing two set points at 40-15, she briefly found her range and her opponent got tight, allowing the Greek to reduce the arrears. Serving for the set, Muchova then double faulted twice as things went back on serve.

Muchova wasted two more set points at 6-5 but she finally bagged the opener with a backhand winner in a tight tiebreak.

Sakkari dug deep in the second set to recover a break of serve for 4-4 and then saved break points with some powerful groundstrokes as the match headed into a second tiebreak.

Muchova opened a 3-0 lead in the tiebreak but got tight again, allowing her opponent to level for 4-4.

She regained her poise, however, and wrapped up the win with a forehand winner.

(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Martyn Herman)

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