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Maria Sakkari Dazzles at French Open, Knocking Out No. 4 Seed Sofia Kenin

Maria Sakkari
Maria Sakkari. Credit: Peter Menzel / CC BY-SA 2.0

Greek tennis champion Maria Sakkari advanced to the last eight of the French Open tournament on Monday, after a comfortable win, in straight sets, against American Sofia Kenin.

Sakkari won the first set 6-1 against No.4 seed Kenin in just 27 minutes.

The second set took a bit longer, but was wrapped up by Sakkari by a score of 6-3.

Sofia Kenin v Maria Sakkari Head to Head

Before Monday’s game, the two tennis players had met thrice before and Kenin had a 2-1 lead over Sakkari. Interestingly, all their previous three matches have been three-set affairs, with Kenin winning at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2018 and Sakkari winning in Abu Dhabi earlier this year.

Sakkari at the French Open: “I came here, I played, and I won”

In the previous round played on Saturday, Sakkari, 25, put on a powerful display to edge out Elise Mertens of Belgium in 2-1 sets in a thrilling game.

Although Sakkari, 25, dazzled on hardcourts at the start of the season, including a run to the Miami Open semifinals, she has struggled to replicate those efforts on clay. In three tournaments, the Greek woman managed to win a grand total of four matches.

However, on the clay of Roland Garros, she seems to have found her form at the right time.

“Roland-Garros is one of my favorite tournaments, so I’m really glad, and I hope I can do much better these weeks,” Sakkari said on Thursday.

“I feel like I haven’t reached my level yet, my good level, but I think I’m playing good solid clay-court tennis. I think I served really well today, very clever, and very good choices on my serve.”

In a press conference after the match at one of Sakkari’s “favorite tournaments” on Monday, she was asked why she had found such great success.

The young Greek tennis star attributed her win to the fact that she’s having a fun while playing the sport: “I’m actually enjoying myself, I’m not torturing myself when I’m on the court.

“I came here, I played, and I won,” Sakkari stated with a smile.

Maria Sakkari’s Unique Accomplishments for Greek Tennis

On May 17, 2021, she reached a career-high singles ranking of No. 18. Her best WTA doubles ranking is 169, achieved on September 9, 2019.

Sakkari has won one singles title on the WTA Tour, at 2019 Morocco Open, where she defeated Johanna Konta in the final.

Last September, Sakkari cruised over No.22 seed Amanda Anisimova after only 55 minutes to book a place in the fourth round of the US Open.

The No.15 seed won in rapid fashion by 6-3, 6-1 and became the first Greek woman to reach the second week in Flushing Meadows since Eleni Daniilidou in 2004.

In 2020, Sakkari reached the round of 16 at both the Australian Open and US Open, her best Grand Slam performance so far.

The Greek tennis champion is known for her aggressive, all-court style of play, centered around her strong serve and powerful groundstrokes. Sakkari served the sixth most aces of any player in 2020, with 144 aces served in 31 matches.

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