Maria Sakkari Outclasses Garbine Muguruza to Reach Quarterfinals at WTA Abu Dhabi 2021

Published 01/10/2021, 5:51 AM EST
FEBRUARY 01: Garbine Muguruza of Spain looks on after losing her Women’s Singles Final match against Sofia Kenin of the United States on day thirteen of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on February 01, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


In the Round of 16 at the WTA Abu Dhabi 2021, the Greek Maria Sakkari was up against 2-time Grand Slam winner, Garbine Muguruza. It was their first-ever meeting on Tour.

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The match promised to be a mouth-watering clash with the 9th seeded (Sakkari) taking on the 5th seed (Muguruza). However, Maria Sakkari was the determined one and led herself to a comfortable victory in the end, winning the match 7-5 6-4. The Greek has not yet dropped a set in her journey at the tournament.

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Set-1: Hard Fought Battle by Maria Sakkari

As the first set began, both players held each other’s serve. Up until the 7th game of the first set, the match was poised at 3-3. With Garbine Muguruza serving, the Greek got the much-needed break, to give her the edge in the opening set. 

At 5-3, Sakkari began serving to claim the first set. However, the Spaniard had other plans and broke back. She eventually capitalized on her serve and leveled the match at 5-5 in the first set. 

With the momentum on Muguruza’s corner, the former Grand Slam winner failed to take advantage, felt the pressure serving 5-6 down in the crucial moment, and eventually let go of the first set. Maria Sakkari took the first set 7-5 after 58 mins. 

Garbiñe Muguruza of Spain returns the ball during her Women’s Singles first round match against Nao Hibino of Japan on Day Two of the 2020 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Set-2: Maria Sakkari Holds Nerve

As soon as the second set began, both players held their opening service games. At 1-1, Muguruza stepped up her intensity and took the early break, making it 2-1 to her advantage. Following which, the Greek did the needful and broke right back to level the match at 2-2. 

With both players fighting it out on the court, Sakkari broke the Spaniard again in the 7th game, similar to the first set, and took advantage at 4-3. A composed Maria held her serve to get herself closer to the finishing line. Finally, at 5-4, Sakkari climbed past the last hurdle to win the set eventually 6-4.

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DIVE DEEPER

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Rohan Kollare

703 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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