Guadalajara proves a balm for Maria Sakkari’s suffering once again

James Richardson
Maria Sakkari
Maria Sakkari in action

Maria Sakkari feels that the bond between herself and Guadalajara has grown closer after another deep run in the Mexican city.

Sakkari is quite genuine in her love for Mexico and donned their national football team shirt during the 2022 Fifa World Cup.

After defeating Carolina Garcia to clinch a place in the WTA 1000 event final, Sakkari remarked how she always seems to overcome the mental blocks in her game by coming to Guadalajara.

“I said it the first day that I felt like this was the week,” said Sakkari.

“This is the place where I was going to overcome a lot of difficult obstacles and difficult emotions.

“I don’t want to go back to the US Open because that’s passed, but I’m just so happy to be back in the final, I couldn’t have asked for anything better.”

“The last match we played was one of the toughest matches in my career,” Sakkari said.

Sakkari said that after being involved in a war with Garcia last time out she just wanted to come out and enjoy her game in front of one of her favourite crowds.

“My goal today was to smile, to enjoy, to come out here and have fun. Because those are the emotions that I haven’t felt in a while.

“I’m going to have the same goal tomorrow,” she said.

Sakkari took command early, ensuring a more straightforward victory in this meeting.

In the opening set, Sakkari committed just three unforced errors, which helped to temper Garcia’s aggressive style. Sakkari lost only two games behind her serve for the remainder of the set after breaking Garcia for a 3-1 advantage.

In the second set, Sakkari continued to choke Garcia put of the match. In her opening service game, she refused to let Garcia close up a 40–15 lead and broke for a quick lead. Garcia’s best shot at getting into the match presented itself when Sakkari was serving at 3-0.

In the longest game of the match, Garcia had three break-point opportunities, but Sakkari fended them off to widen her advantage and ultimately terminate the stout efforts of the Frenchwoman.

Sakkari finished with a nearly flawless stat line, saving all four break points she faced while hitting eight winners against seven unforced errors.

Garcia tallied 20 unforced errors compared to 11 winners as she tried to force her way into the match. Garcia is now 0-3 this season against Top 10 opponents after the defeat to Sakkari.

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