Greek women’s tennis player Maria Sakkari solidified her steps towards the semifinals of the 2022 Indian Wells Masters, after overthrowing Kazakhstan’s Elena Rybakina in the quarter-finals with a 7-5, 6-4 straight set victory, Friday (18/3).
Appearing as the sixth seed at Indian Wells, this victory was Sakkari’s fifth time in her career in the WTA 1000.
Talking about his performance against Rybakina, Sakkari said that he started the match poorly in the first set where he was trailing 1-4 before finally convincing himself to come back and do better.
“I think I had a bad start,” Sakkari said after the match, quoted from WTA, Friday (18/3) WIB.
“I was a little nervous, but then I tried to believe in my game. I believed that I could break him (Rybakina), I came back into the game with lots of balls after going 4-1 down and that gave me a chance to come back. Good chance to get back into the game,” he said.
Having managed to get back up and claim victory, Sakkari judged he had improved in his playing technique in that match. Had experienced mental problems at the beginning of the match, for Sakkari it became homework that he was working on.
“I feel I have improved my serve, I have improved my groundstroke. I don’t have a big hole in my game.”
“There are a lot of things I still have to improve, which is a good thing. Mentally especially, sometimes I feel like I have to be a little bit stronger and I’m working on it. I think I will achieve what I want with a good mentality,” he said.
World number 6 Sakkari grabbed her second Top 20 win of the season as she snatched her 1 hour 38 minute win over Rybakina, which saw her equalize head-to-head with one win each. Rybakina has beaten Sakkari in the semifinals of St. Petersburg 2020.
Advancing to the semifinals, Sakkari will next meet Spain’s Paula Badosa on Saturday (19/3) WIB. In his action, Badosa managed to get rid of Russian Veronika Kudermetova with a 6-3 and 6-2 straight set victory. (WTA/OL-13)
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