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Maria Sakkari Books Place in WTA Finals Semis

Sakkari WTA finals
Maria Sakkari becomes the first Greek woman tennis player to advance to the WTA Finals semis. Credit: Twitter/WTA official

Greek tennis champion Maria Sakkari on Monday booked her spot in her first semifinal at the Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara, defeating top seed Aryna Sabalenka 7-6(1), 6-7(6), 6-3.

The No. 4 seed Sakkari made tennis history for her country this season, becoming the first Greek woman to qualify for the WTA Finals in either singles or doubles.

As the second qualifier out of the Chichén Itzá group, Sakkari will face Teotihuacán winner Anett Kontaveit for a spot in the final.

Sakkari said after the match: “Obviously my season is not finished yet, but this tournament has been very successful after today’s win,” Sakkari said. “I’m just very, very happy that I still show good emotions on court, I still play with my heart even though it’s been 11 months since we started this season. I’m just going to enjoy tomorrow’s match.”

The victory boosted Sakkari to 2-1 in group play and dropped Sabalenka to 1-2, meaning the 26-year-old Greek star will join group winner Paula Badosa in advancing to Tuesday’s semifinal.

Maria Sakkari won the first match in the WTA Finals defeating Iga Swiatek of Poland 6-2, 6-4 on Thursday afternoon in Guadalajara.

She scored a third straight win over the 2020 Roland Garros champ to take the early lead in Group Chichén Itzá.

She lost the second match to Paula Badosa 7-6 (4), 6-4 on Saturday.

Sakkari’s highlight of 2021 was the semifinal of the French Open

Sakkari had a very strong start to the season reaching consecutive semifinals in Abu Dhabi and Melbourne’s Grampians Trophy. A first-round loss at the Australian Open was followed by a quarterfinal appearance in Doha.

In Miami, she ended Naomi Osaka’s 23 match winning streak en route to the semifinal. An average clay season culminated into a run to her first-ever grand slam semifinal at the French Open where she lost 7–9 in the third set to the eventual champion Krejčíková, despite having a match point. Prior to that defeat, she had already eliminated Sofia Kenin and Iga Świątek, both of whom contested the 2020 French Open final.

She lost in the second round of Wimbledon to Shelby Rogers. At the US Open, Sakkari defeated Petra Kvitová, Bianca Andreescu, and Karolína Plíšková to reach her second career grand slam semifinal where she lost to the eventual champion, Emma Raducanu.

During the European indoor hardcourt fall season, she reached the final in Ostrava, losing to Anett Kontaveit and semifinal in Moscow where she retired against Ekaterina Alexandrova.

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