Maria Sakkari's resurgence: From breaking down in tears after US Open 1R elimination to winning maiden WTA 1000 title in Guadalajara
Maria Sakkari claimed the biggest title of her career so far by winning the Guadalajara Open. The Greek lost to Jessica Pegula in the final of last year's tournament but managed to go a step further this time.
It was a crucial win for Sakkari, who, not long back, claimed that she wanted to take a break from tennis. The Greek suffered a 6-4, 6-4 defeat to Rebeka Masarova in the first round of the US Open. It was the third successive Grand Slam this year where she was eliminated in the opening round. Maria Sakkari later broke down in tears during her post-match press conference.
Sakkari later told SDNA that she was considering taking a break from tennis as she was suffering on the court.
"Definitely the two previous defeats played a role, I was very nervous, I don't know what I'm going to do, I really don't know... Maybe I should take a break, I'm suffering on the court. I can't make a decision now, it's hard. I don't have a clear mind," the Greek said.
The 28-year-old competed at the San Diego Open right after the US Open and reached the quarterfinals before losing 6-4, 0-6, 7-6(4) to Emma Navarro.
Maria Sakkari won the Guadalajara Open without dropping a single set
Following her exit from the San Diego Open, Sakkari entered the Guadalajara Open as the second seed and received a bye to the second round. She started by beating Storm Hunter 6-2, 6-4 before triumphing 6-2, 6-2 over Camila Giorgi to reach the quarterfinals.
The Greek then defeated Emiliana Arango 6-3, 6-4 before registering a comprehensive 6-3, 6-0 win over third seed Caroline Garcia to book her place in the final of the Guadalajara Open for the second straight year.
Sakkari was up against World No. 111 Caroline Dolehide and beat her 7-5, 6-3 to win her maiden WTA 1000 title without dropping a single set. It was also her second WTA singles title.
The Greek, in her post-match press conference, said that her biggest achievement of the week was finding a way to be happy on court.
"For me it's just very important that I could bounce back and find a way to find happiness on the court again. That was my biggest goal this week and my biggest achievement. I'm just very happy that I managed to find a way this week and that it happened here in Guadalajara," Maria Sakkari said.
The Greek's victorious run at the Guadalajara Open takes her win tally for the 2023 season to 34 out of 53 matches. She will climb three spots up to sixth when the newest set of WTA rankings are released on Monday, September 25.
Having won her first WTA 1000 title, Maria Sakkari will next compete at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, where she is seeded fourth. The Greek received a bye to the second round of the tournament, where she will face either Petra Martic or a qualifier.