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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Maria Sakkari identifies key to her stunning form at WTA Finals

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World No 5 Maria Sakkari says there is no secret to her impressive form at the WTA Finals as she feels she is simply trusting herself and playing fearless again. Sakkari, who found herself in a dark place earlier this year, went 3-0 during the WTA Finals group stage.

On Friday, Sakkari saw off Ons Jabeur 6-2 6-3 in her group stage finale. Previously, Sakkari also clinched straight-set wins over Jessica Pegula and Aryna Sabalenka. “I think I just have to keep doing what I’ve been doing.

I’m trusting myself. I’m just fearless on the court. I’m enjoying myself here. There’s no secret behind how I’m playing, it was about time to start playing good again. I’m just very happy that it’s actually happening here,” Sakkari said after the match, per Tennis365.

Sakkari recalls playing Jabeur ‘in front of nobody’

In 2016, Sakkari defeated Jabeur in a Fed Cup match they played in Montenegro. Now, they met again but this time on a far bigger stage. “We played each other years ago, I think it was in Fed Cup.

I was joking with her that she was drop-shotting me all the time, playing in Montenegro, in the Group 3 stage, there was nobody there. Just normal players back then. But we both worked out way to the top,” Sakkari recalled.

Meanwhile, Sakkari, 27, and 28-year-old Jabeur were playing against each other for the fifth time. Following Sakkari’s win over Jabeur at the WTA Finals, the Greek now owns a 3-2 head-to-head against the Tunisian. Also, this was their second meeting in 2022.

Earlier this year, Jabeur defeated Sakkari in Rome. After going 3-0 in the group stage, Sakkari is now two more wins away from winning her first WTA Finals title. Sakkari, who reached the WTA Finals semifinal in her debut last year, will be meeting either Caroline Garcia or Daria Kasatkina in this year’s semifinal.

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