PARIS: Maria Sakkari stunned defending champion Iga Swiatek to become the first Greek woman to reach a Grand Slam semi-final at the French Open on Wednesday as Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal closed in on another blockbuster clash. World number 18 Sakkari triumphed 6-4, 6-4 over Polish eighth seed Swiatek and will face 33rd-ranked Barbora Krejcikova of the Czech Republic for a place in the final. Thursday’s other semi-final sees Russian 31st seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova tackle unseeded Tamara Zidansek of Slovenia. For the first time in the Open era, the French Open semi-finals will feature four women who have never previously got this far at the Slams. “I am speechless. It is a dream coming true. It’s a very nice feeling and I could not have done it without my team and their support,” said the 25-year-old Sakkari. “We have a long way to go but we made a huge step today.” Swiatek had gone into the match on the back of 22 consecutive sets won at the French Open but her challenge was hobbled by a right thigh injury which needed taping during a medical timeout early in the second set. Her defeat means that Justine Henin remains the last player to defend the women’s title in Paris in 2007. Greece will have two players in the semi-finals this year after Stefanos Tsitsipas made it to the last four on Tuesday. Krejcikova knocked out American 17-year-old Coco Gauff 7-6 (8/6), 6-3 after saving five set points in the opener and then needing six match points to finish the job. Gauff, the 24th seed and the youngest quarter-finalist at a major in 15 years, was undone by seven double faults and 41 unforced errors. “I never really imagined I’d be standing here one day on this court, especially in singles, and being able to win,” said Krejcikova, who had been so paralysed by fear before her last 16 victory over Sloane Stephens that she locked herself in a stadium office and wept. Krejcikova, now on a 10-match winning streak, is having a busy week. She is also in the semi-finals of the women’s doubles.