"Beautiful words" - Gabriela Sabatini expresses gratitude as Maria Sakkari makes a thoughtful mention, praises her for winning Guadalajara Open 2023

Gabriela Sabatini (inset) and Maria Sakkari
Gabriela Sabatini (inset) and Maria Sakkari

Gabriela Sabatini expressed her heartfelt appreciation to Maria Sakkari for her thoughtful acknowledgment of the Argentine. Sabatini further extended her praise and congratulations to Sakkari for her title win at the 2023 Guadalajara Open.

Sakkari defeated American Caroline Dolehide 7-5, 6-3 at the Akron Tennis Stadium to win her first trophy in more than four years. This was the Greek's second WTA title in Guadalajara, and her first one at a 1000-level tournament.

Speaking during the trophy ceremony, Maria Sakkari expressed her gratitude to former Argentine tennis pro Gabriela Sabatini for attending the match. She also reminisced about Sabatini's past matches with her mother, Angeliki Kanellopoulou, and emphasized how both she and her mother look up to Sabatini.

The World No. 6 also said that having Sabatini present court-side was "pure inspiration."

"Gabi, thank you for being here today. I know you played with my mum. I know you were a lot better than her but she admires you a lot and you know she always spoke very highly about you. You're a person that she looked up to and I looked up to and thank you for being here. It was a pure inspiration having you courtside today," Sakari said.

The WTA shared the video of the trophy ceremony on their social media platforms. Gabriela Sabatini re-shared the video and conveyed her sincere gratitude to Maria Sakkari for her kind acknowledgment. The 53-year-old also went on to congratulate Sakkari for winning the Guadalajara Open title.

"Congrats @mariasakkari, big win! Hard work and persistence paid off 🙌🏻 So great to see your smile and love always. Thank you for your beautiful words ❤️#GDLOpenAKRON," Sabatini posted.

"When you prove all these people wrong, it's fuel" - Maria Sakkari

Maria Sakkari at a press conference
Maria Sakkari at a press conference

In a post-match interview following the final, Maria Sakkari was asked about her trophy speech, which bore a resemblance to Coco Gauff's address at the US Open.

The Greek acknowledged that social media accounts and YouTube channels dedicated to highlighting her failures have made her more conscious of criticism. However, she found great satisfaction in proving her critics wrong and expressed gratitude for the motivation they provided.

"We live in 2023. Social media is a part of our everyday life. You cannot avoid it. Coco said she knows the user names. I know them, too. I know the person with a YouTube channel who posts all my semifinal losses, all my final losses. I'm aware," Sakkari said.
"The satisfaction now, I cannot describe it. When you prove all these people wrong, it's fuel. For me, it worked as fuel. I knew it was going to come, I didn't know when. Thank you to them. They gave me strength," she added.

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