Greek tennis star Maria Sakkari has defeated world No. 4 Karolina Pliskova today in the US Open quarter finals. Sakkari will move on to her first ever US Open semifinal against Emma Raducanu.
Sakkari, who is currently ranked No. 18 in the world, took down No.4 ranked Pliskova 6-4, 6-4 on Wednesday. The 26-year-old will be the first Greek woman to reach the US Open singles semifinals.
Sakkari has quickly proved herself more than capable against higher ranked opponents: in fact this is her third consecutive win against a top 10 seeded player. Sakkari has beat No.6 seed Bianca Andreescu, and No. 10 seed Petra Kvitova. She has also beaten both Naomi Osaka and Sofia Kenin in the past.
The Greek tennis force dominated her match against the Czech player, her strong serve never giving Pliskova the opportunity to get her bearings in the match. Sakkari won a baffling 22 consecutive service points, and it was these strong serves that eventually bought her a straight-set win. The young phenom is topping off a career peak this season after advancing to the Roland Garros semifinal and Miami Open semifinal.
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 8, 2021
Sakkari’s career renaissance continues into 2021 with the US Open
Sakkari has won one singles title on the WTA Tour, at 2019 Morocco Open, where she defeated Johanna Konta in the final. She was also semifinalist of 2017 Wuhan Open, where she defeated Caroline Wozniacki en route, her first top-10 win.
In 2019, she reached another Premier 5 semifinal at the Italian Open where she defeated, among other players, Petra Kvitová. In 2020, Sakkari reached the fourth round at both the Australian Open and US Open, and in 2021 she has reached the semifinals at the French Open.
Sakkari 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 WTA player in 2020, with 144 aces served in 31 matches.
An incredible high point of Sakkari’s season this year was when the player ended Naomi Osaka’s seemingly-unstoppable 23-match winning streak after Osaka looked to the skies, appearing to ask the heavens for help as her Greek opponent closed in on the win.
“I think I played a great first set for sure,” Sakkari told Tennis Channel’s Prakash Amritraj afterward. “I didn’t make a lot of unforced errors. I just came out with a good game plan.
Against Sakkari, the only Greek woman ranked in the top 250, Osaka lost 15 consecutive points on her serve and she then threw away a 4-1 lead in the second set.
She faced a break point on seven of her eight service games.
Osaka said to the press after the match “[The] service problems kind of came out of nowhere. My first serve wasn’t going in at all.”