Maria Sakkari Creates History Following Success at French and US Open 2021

Published 10/21/2021, 1:35 PM EDT
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 9, 2021 Greece’s Maria Sakkari reacts during her quarter final match against Poland’s Iga Swiatek REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes


Maria Sakkari of Greece is currently competing at Kremlin Cup in Moscow. In the round of 16, the number three seed faced Anna Kalinskaya. Unfortunately, the Russian had to retire midway due to a thigh injury. Following her win against the Russian, Sakkari has now become the first Greek woman to qualify for the WTA Finals scheduled in Guadalajara, Mexico.

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Sakkari has had an amazing 2021 season so far. Despite not winning a title, the Greek has displayed some brilliant performances on the WTA tour. Notably, Maria Sakkari advanced to the semi-finals of both the French Open and the US Open this year. Interestingly, in both Slams, she lost in the semi-final to the eventual winner of the tournament.

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Maria Sakkari advances into WTA Finals

After an early departure from Indian Wells, Sakkari entered the Kremlin Cup as the number three seed. In her first round, she met Anna Kalinskaya of Russian. Sakkari handsomely won the first set 6-2. However, Kalinskaya suffered an injury in the second set and was unable to continue. As a result, Sakkari received a walkover.

Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 10, 2021 Greece’s Maria Sakkari in action during her semi final match against Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

After getting past the Russian, Sakkari has now bagged at least 100 points at the Kremlin Cup. With these 100 points, the Greek player has now qualified for the WTA Finals to be played in Guadalajara, Mexico. Moreover, Maria clinched the fifth spot for the mega event.

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Sakkari creates history for Greece

This will be Maria Sakkari’s first appearance at WTA Finals. She has become the first Greek woman to qualify for the WTA Finals in the sport’s history. In the post-match press conference, she said, “It was a very important match. I knew that before I stepped on the court because I knew that if I won that match, I would qualify [for the WTA Finals].”

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She further continued,” It’s achieving one of my biggest goals this year, it’s very satisfying. I’m very proud of myself and my team that we actually made it to the Finals for the first time, and for the first time in the history of Greece for a female tennis player.” 

PERTH, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 03: Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece talk tactics in the mixed doubles match against Belinda Bencic and Roger Federer of Switzerland during day six of the 2019 Hopman Cup at Perth Arena on January 03, 2019 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)

Sakkari also highlighted that over the years, she’s learnt to go easy on herself and be nicer to herself. She’s grown more mature and has begun seeing things differently.

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In 2019, Stefanos Tsitsipas became the first Greek player to win the tour end Finals. Can Sakkari match Stefanos’ incredible achievement and emerge victorious from Mexico?

DIVE DEEPER

“Really Believed in Me”: Maria Sakkari Reacts After Making History at Ostrava Open 2021

2 months ago

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Atri Bhatt

376 articles

Atri Bhatt is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is pursuing his Master's degree in Sports Management from Deakin University, Australia. In addition to critically analysing the game, he also plays tennis professionally.

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