"You showed everyone your strength and talent" - Chris Evert congratulates Maria Sakkari on winning Guadalajara Open 2023

Chris Evert (L) and Maria Sakkari (R)
Chris Evert (L) and Maria Sakkari (R)

Tennis legend Chris Evert recently extended her heartfelt congratulations to Maria Sakkari for securing the title at the 2023 Guadalajara Open.

Sakkari defeated World No. 38 Caroline Dolehide 7-5, 6-3, at the Akron Tennis Stadium to win her first trophy in more than four years. Since her first title victory at the 2019 Morocco Open, the Greek had encountered a series of setbacks in her quest for another title.

Despite reaching six finals since then, including the Guadalajara and Washington finals, Sakkari had been unable to secure a win. However, the World No. 6 bounced back from those disappointments to claim her second Women's Tennis Association (WTA) title in Guadalajara, and her first one at a 1000-level tournament.

In a post-match interview after winning the title in Mexico, Maria Sakkari talked about drawing inspiration from Coco Gauff's words which the American expressed after securing her first-ever Grand Slam title at the 2023 US Open.

"I really liked what Coco [Gauff] said at the US Open, about how other people have bigger problems than we have when we lose a tennis match, and she's spot on. I kept thinking about that, and that gave me strength," Sakkari said.

Reacting to the same, 18-time Grand Slam champion, Chris Evert, congratulated the 28-year-old. She also stated that with this win Maria Sakkari showed everyone her "strength and talent."

"Congratulations @mariasakkari You showed everyone your strength and talent this week in Guadalajara! Keep the belief... 🙏 👏 💪 👍 💃 ," Evert posted.

Maria Sakkari thanks her coach after Guadalajara Open 2023 win

Maria Sakkari with the Guadalajara Open trophy
Maria Sakkari with the Guadalajara Open trophy

Maria Sakkari expressed her heartfelt gratitude towards her coach, Tom Hill, during an emotional on-court interview. She acknowledged his unwavering support and loyalty throughout the years, despite being subjected to numerous negative comments.

"I want to thank my coach Tom, who’s been with me the last 5 years. We waited more than 4 years for a second title. We’ve heard many bad things like I’ll never win a title. That I’m a top 5 player with only 1 title. That was very hard for me to overcome. I’m so happy I did it here this week," she said.

Sakkari also expressed her delight in being involved in the Guadalajara "project" and emphasized that the city held a special place in her heart, akin to a second home.

"I’m so happy to be a part of this group, this project, just being here and celebrate with you guys. And with all of you guys (to the spectators). I said it so many times, I’m gonna repeat myself. This is my second home, thank you so much," she said.

Maria Sakkari's title win in Mexico has provided her with a significant boost as she gears up for the Asian swing. She will next compete in the Toray Pan Pacific Open 2023, having received a first-round bye.

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Edited by Vaishnavi Iyer
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