Greek tennis champion Maria Sakkari managed to beat Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit after a comfortable win, in straight sets, in her first match for the Olympic Games of Tokyo on Saturday.
Sakkari won the first set 7-5 and 6-2 the second, gaining an easy 2-0 win in approximately 92 minutes of action.
However, the beginning of the match was not a piece of cake for the Greek player, who is currently No. 19 in the world.
She found herself losing 2-5, with a set victory for the Estonian player looking almost certain.
However, the Spartan woman showed her true self and managed to overturn the bad result, turning the 2-5 in to 7-5 in a matter of minutes.
During the second set of the match, Sakkari was in a better position and ended up winning with an impressive 6-2.
A rising Greek tennis star
Earlier this year, Sakkari almost managed to reach the finals of the French Open for the first time in Greek history.
Unfortunately, she lost to Czech Barbora Krejcikova by 2-1 sets.
Nonetheless, it was an amazing two weeks for Sakkari, who became the first Greek woman to appear in a semifinal of a Grand Slam.
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 the 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 a score of 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, Maria Sakkari reached the round of 16 at both the Australian Open and US Open.
Her best Grand Slam performance so far has been reaching the Semifinals in the 2021 French Open.
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.
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari bring hopes to Greece for Tokyo medals
Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari will not only play in their respective singles categories; they will also pair together for the mixed doubles tournament during the Olympic Games of Tokyo in Japan.
Tennis has never enjoyed much popularity in Greece, which is why Tsitsipas has spoken numerous times of his goal to make tennis popular in Greece. One way to do that, beyond being a successful all-around tennis player, is to win a medal for his country at the Olympics.
Tsitsipas was a finalist at the Roland Garros Grand Slam tournament on Sunday. Although the Greek champion built a big lead and appeared on his way to an upset victory, Novak Djokovic mounted an improbable comeback to win his 19th major title bu a score of 6-7 (6), 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4.
He was the youngest men’s finalist at Roland Garros since Rafael Nadal won the title in 2008, and was trying to become the first Greek to win a Grand Slam title.
“Despite my loss today, I have faith in my game,” Tsitsipas said. “I very much believe I can get to that point very soon. I was close today.”