Gracheva stuns Sakkari in Roland Garros boilover

FORMER Top 40 talent Varvara Gracheva has stunned the Roland Garros crowd by coming from behind to knock over sixth seed Maria Sakkari. The current world number 88 – who was playing her first Roland Garros under the French flag since changing allegiances from Russia – is yet to win a WTA Tour title, but reached a career-high of 39th in the world earlier this year, and has seven ITF Tour titles to her name.

The 23-year-old entered the tournament coming off some handy form where she beat Top 30 player Katie Boulter in the quarter finals of a WTA125 event in the same city. The 3-6 6-3 6-4 triumph over Sakkari was also a reversal of the result between the pair just two weeks earlier in the Round of 64 at Rome, where the Greek fifth seed crushed the Frenchwoman, 6-2 6-2.

The match itself lasted two hours and 13 minutes, with Gracheva fighting back from a set down to steady and use her more consistent serve to advantage. Running at a 67 per cent clip, she won 56 and 68 per cent of her first and second serve points, while Sakkari only put half of her first serves into play, and won just 40 per cent when dealing with her second serve.

When presented with break point opportunities, the Frenchwoman made the most of them converting an ultra-impressive five of six chances, compared to Sakkari’s four of 15. Though she hit seven less winners against the hard-hitting Greek (20-27), she was far more economical from the errors perspective, committing just 24 unforced errors to Sakkari’s 39.

Across the rest of the women’s singles matches, Italian Elisabetta Cocciaretto caused an upset over reigning semi-finalist Beatriz Haddad Maia whose world ranking will take a massive hit over the defeat. The 13th seed Brazilian went down 3-6 6-4 6-1 to the clay court specialist. Bulgarian Viktoriya Tomova also ousted 16th seed Ekaterina Alexandrova, while for the other top 12 seeds, it was light work with all of them winning in straight sets.


[1] Iga Swiatek (POL) defeated Leolia Jeanjean (FRA) 6-1 6-2
[3] Coco Gauff (USA) defeated Julia Avdeeva (RUS) 6-1 6-1
[5] Marketa Vondrousova (CZE) defeated Rebeka Masarova (ESP) 6-1 6-3
Varvara Gracheva (FRA) defeated [6] Maria Sakkari (GRE) 3-6 6-4 6-3
[8] Ons Jabeur (TUN) defeated Sachia Vickery (USA) 6-3 6-2
[11] Danielle Collins (USA) defeated Caroline Dolehide (USA) 6-3 6-4
[12] Jasmine Paolini (ITA) defeated Daria Saville (AUS) 6-3 6-4
Elisabetta Cocciaretto (ITA) defeated [13] Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) 3-6 6-4 6-1
[15] Elina Svitolina (UKR) defeated Karolina Pliskova (CZE) 3-6 6-4 6-2
Viktoriya Tomova (BUL) defeated [16] Ekaterina Alexandrova (RUS) 6-3 7-6
[17] Liudmila Samsonova (RUS) defeated Magda Linette (POL) 6-1 6-1
[20] Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) defeated Panna Udvardy (HUN) 6-3 6-4
[23] Anna Kalinskaya (RUS) defeated Clara Burel (FRA) 7-6 7-5
[27] Linda Noskova (CZE) defeated Harriet Dart (GBR) 7-6 6-4
[31] Leylah Fernandez (CAN) defeated Jessika Ponchet (FRA) 6-2 6-0
Anastasia Potapova (RUS) defeated Kamilla Rakhimova (RU) 6-2 6-3
Hayley Baptiste (USA) defeated Kayla Day (USA) 4-6 6-2 6-2
Bernarda Pera (USA) defeated Nao Hibino (JPN) 6-2 6-0
Ana Bogdan (ROU) defeated Elsa Jacquemot (FRA) 6-1 6-3
Cristina Bucsa (ESP) defeated Yulia Starodubtsewa (UKR) 6-4 6-1
Diane Parry (FRA) defeated Fiona Ferro (FRA) 3-6 6-3 6-3
Bianca Andreescu (CAN) defeated Sara Sorribes Tormo (ESP) 7-5 6-1
Maria Camila Osorio Serrano (COL) defeated Anhelina Kalinina (UKR) 3-6 7-6 4-1 RET

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