Maria Sakkari Registers Emphatic Victory Over Coco Gauff at WTA Abu Dhabi 2021

Published 01/09/2021, 9:06 AM EST
Coco Gauff of the U.S. during her first round match against Tunisia’s Ons Jabeur Pool via REUTERS/Clive Brunskill


It was the Round of 32 match at the Abu Dhabi Open 2021 and the rising star Coco Gauff was playing against World No.22 Maria Sakkari. In an exciting clash, it was Sakkari who was able to battle past the young Gauff. The final scoreline of the match was 7-5, 6-2.

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Before the match, the two had not only met once in their lifetime. It was at the Cincinnati Masters 2020 where Sakkari defeated Gauff in straight sets. The same thing happened this time as well, and Sakkari extended her dominance over Gauff.

Set-1: A brilliant comeback by Maria Sakkari

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Flushing Meadows, New York, USA; Maria Sakkari of Greece celebrates after match point against Amanda Anisimova of the United States (not pictured) on day six of the 2020 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Danielle Parhizkaran-USA TODAY Sports

Gauff had one of the best starts in the match as she broke in the very first game. She went on to win the next game as well and extended her lead. What was even more impressive was that she broke again in the third game and was leading 3-0.

However, it was after this that an unbelievable thing took place. Sakkari went to win the next five games and broke on a total of three occasions. She suddenly made the scoreline 5-3 at the end of the 8th game.

Serving for the set, Sakkari didn’t serve well in the ninth game. Gauff capitalized on the opportunity and won four straight points. She saved a set-point in the next game and brought the scoreline back to 5-5.

Sakkari gained her momentum back and won two back-to-back games after this. She broke for the fourth time in the match in the 12th game and eventually won the set 7-5.

Set-2: The final nail in the coffin of Coco Gauff

Coco Gauff of the U.S. in action during her first-round match against Britain’s Johanna Konta REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

Sakkari continued her dominance in the second set and sealed the first game by winning 4 consecutive points. However, Gauff equalized the scoreline in the next game at 1-1. In the next game, Sakkari saved three break-points and further extended her lead to 2-1.

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Although Gauff saved a couple of break-points in the subsequent game, Sakkari broke in the fourth game. She was now leading 3-1 in the second game. The Greek player delivered some fine forehands in the next game and was just two games away from entering into the pre-quarters of the tournament.

It was a do-or-die situation for Gauff. The American somehow got back some of her momentum and won four back-to-back points to seal the sixth game. This narrowed down the margin to 4-2. However, Sakkari was in no mood to extend the match any further. She gave it back to Gauff in the next game and was now leading 5-2.

Serving to save the match, Gauff lost the first point and gave Sakkari the early lead. The Greek player capitalized on this again and went on to win the set 6-2, and thus the match.

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Anshul Singh

957 articles

Anshul Singh is a tennis author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing Journalism Honors from Delhi University. Having significant experience with content, Anshul has authored over 500 tennis articles. He has previously worked as a writer and an editor for DU Express, penning riveting articles on sports, politics, and culture.

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