“Getting Closer”: Maria Sakkari on Attaining Her Maiden Slam at US Open 2021

Published 09/09/2021, 7:21 AM EDT
Sep 8, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Maria Sakkari of Greece reaches for a backhand against Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic (not pictured) on day ten of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports


The No.17 seed Maria Sakkari has booked her place in the semifinals of the 2021 US Open. Since her US Open debut in 2015, this has been Sakkari’s best-ever result at the Grand Slam.

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Over the past week and a half, the Greek tennis player has knocked out some of the top-ranked players in the world. She defeated the 2019 US Open champion, Bianca Andreescu, in a thrilling fourth-round clash and then ousted the No.4 seed, Karolina Pliskova in the quarterfinals.

Sep 8, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Maria Sakkari of Greece reacts before match point against Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic on day ten of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Maria Sakkari just two wins away from US Open title

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After her straight-sets quarterfinal victory, Sakkari reflected on her performances during the ongoing season and asserted she feels increasingly confident of achieving her goals.

“I’m getting where I want to be, getting closer to achieving my goals, making myself believe that I belong here. Now after this season, which is not over yet, I proved to myself that I can actually be one of the top players in the world,” said Sakkari, during a post-match interview.

This has been Sakkari’s most successful year in terms of her results at Grand Slam events. At the 2021 French Open, she finished as the semifinalist, which was also her first-ever Grand Slam semifinal appearance.

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In addition, the 26-year-old made it to the semifinals of the Ostrava Open, the Abu Dhabi Open, and the Madrid Open, defeating multiple top-ranked players en route.

Sep 8, 2021; Flushing, NY, USA; Maria Sakkari of Greece hits a forehand against Karolina Pliskova of Czech Republic (not pictured) on day ten of the 2021 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Now she finds herself two match wins away from clinching her debut Grand Slam title. Up next, Sakkari faces teenage sensation, Emma Raducanu, in the semifinals at Flushing Meadows.

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Raducanu, who has become the first qualifier in history to make the US Open semifinals, is bidding to become the youngest champion here since Serena Williams in 1999. The Briton has caught the tennis fraternity by surprise with her domineering performances and is yet to lose a set at this year’s US Open.

The upcoming match between Sakkari and Raducanu would be the duo’s first meeting against each other. Who do you think would win?

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Kshitij Tayal

466 articles

Kshitij Tayal is a tennis author at EssentiallySports. Having played district-level tennis competitions, Kshitij is also a tenured journalist of the sport with over four years of experience. At EssentiallySports, he pens down some thought-provoking pieces on players and tournaments across the ATP and WTA.

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