“I really want to win a big title. I know it’s coming” – Sakkari focussing on positives after latest finals loss
Seeded eighth in Montreal this week, Maria Sakkari opens her campaign for her first title since 2019 with a second round clash against Danielle Collins
When Maria Sakkari finished runner-up at the Citi Open last week, going down to American Coco Gauff in the final, iIt gave her detractors a chance to bring up her poor record in finals once again. Sakkari is now 1-7 in WTA level finals and has lost her last six finals in a row.
But the 28-year-old, well aware that she is the subject of many critics when it comes to her finals record, refuses to get down about the same. Instead, she is focussing on the positive.
“I’ve been winning a lot of matches this year in tournaments by surviving. You know, just making balls and just not playing my tennis,” Sakkari told the media in Montreal on Tuesday. “Now I think that the good thing of losing early at Wimbledon was that I had a good amount of time to practice and get a lot of hours on the court and get back that aggressive game. I think that it was pretty obvious beating those players who were in very good form last week was huge for me. I don’t want to say too much, but I really believe that it was a turning point after, you know, not feeling good most of the part of the season and also last season. But at the same time I just feel good with myself again, and I’m happy again.”
I don’t care if people make fun of me because I lose in the semi-finals or finals, I don’t pay attention to it anymore, I know this title will come.Maria Sakkari
Reaching her first final since October 2022, Sakkari is using those positives to fuel her belief that she knows a big title is going to come her way sooner or later.
“This idea is in my head, I really want to win this (major) title. I know it’s coming,” Sakkari told the media after in Montreal on Tuesday. “I always say it, I don’t care if people make fun of me because I lose in the semi-finals or finals, I don’t pay attention to it anymore, I know this title will come. It may be a bigger headline than last week. I’m going to focus on what I did well last week, which worked very well: my aggressiveness, my good state of mind. I’m still in the top 10 in the world, which helps a lot. I’m looking forward to playing this tournament.”
“Even if I go below the top 10, I will still be a very good player” – Sakkari
Sakkari is seeded eighth in Montreal, which means she received an opening round bye and faces American Danielle Collins in the second round. The Greek, a former world No 3, admitted that focussing on the rankings earlier took a toll on her and now instead does not obsess about the number next to her name every Monday.
“I managed to be third in the world, but being 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th doesn’t make a big difference. It means that we are a good player and even if I go below the top 10, I will still be a very good player. It doesn’t change much. The only difference is for the draw, or for some of the advantages it brings in tournaments, but overall we are respected in the same way by the other players. I’m not obsessed with ranking at all. Of course, I want to be No. 1 in the world, but at the same time, if I do the right thing, I’m going to get back to the level I had,” Sakkari said.