“Think He’s Proud of Me”: Maria Sakkari Opens Up on Relations With Stefanos Tsitsipas

Published 04/01/2021, 11:51 AM EDT
Mar 29, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece celebrates after his match against Kei Nishikori of Japan (not pictured) in the fourth round in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Greek tennis Maria Sakkari has revealed her special equations with compatriot Stefanos Tsitsipas, which goes beyond tennis.


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Speaking to the press after scripting a stunning upset victory over World Number 2 Naomi Osaka at Miami Open on Thursday, the World Number 25 said that her family is “very close” to Tsitsipas’s.

While the current World Number 5 is already a role model back home and has been putting his country on the global tennis map through his rise in the men’s game, Sakkari isn’t doing her homeland any less proud with her exploits.


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Maria Sakkari reveals her family is very close to Stefanos Tsitsipas’s

Sakkari is close to breaking into the Top-20 and as is evident from her incredible Miami run, she has crossed the psychological barrier of being overwhelmed or overawed by more fancied opponents.

Sakkari said she hopes to take her rapport with Tsitsipas into tennis by pairing up with him in the Tokyo Olympics.

She added that she takes a lot of “pride” in how far he has come in the men’s game and hopes he feels likewise about her.

Mar 31, 2021; Miami, Florida, USA; Maria Sakkari of Greece waves to the crowd after her match against Naomi Osaka of Japan (not pictured) in a women’s singles quarterfinal in the Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

“We’re looking forward (to) playing, I think, the Olympics together. I think he’s proud of me. I’m very proud of him,” Sakkari said.

Calling him a “joke of an athlete and a joke of a player”, she added that she does look out for him from time to time.

The 25-year-old added that she is happy how she and her countrymate are taking Greek tennis to the world.

“We have a great relationship and our families are very close. I think we are making Greece proud,” Sakkari said.

Maria Sakkari’s belief and self-confidence were exemplary in her win over Naomi Osaka

What stood out in Sakkari’s win over the reigning Australian Open champion was the way she bossed the opening exchanges and managed to recover from a mini-slump in the second set.


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While she blanked Osaka in the first set, she trailed 1-4 in the second before recovering her poise to reestablish her hold on the match.


STUNNING: Maria Sakkari Bagels Naomi Osaka and Snaps 23 Match Winning Streak at Miami Open 2021 Quarterfinals

about 1 month ago


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Another standout feature was the belief and self-confidence with which she went into battle and trusted her ability to fight back even when Osaka put the squeeze on her.


Priyabrata Chowdhury

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Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.