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Sakkari: “Today was one of the best comebacks of my life”

Maria Sakkari battled out of a huge hole to beat Petra Kvitova in the Indian Wells quarter-finals on Wednesday. Sakkari called it one of her best comebacks.

Maria Sakkari, Indian Wells 2023 Maria Sakkari, Indian Wells 2023 | © AI / Reuters / Panoramic

Maria Sakkari had every right to roll over and exit the BNP Paribas Open on Wednesday night.

Instead, the Greek battled out of a massive deficit and kept alive her chances at reaching back-to-back finals in Indian Wells. Sakkari, who finished runner-up to Iga Swiatek last spring, came back from a set and 3-1 down to defeat Petra Kvitova 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 in a thrilling semi-final.

Kvitova had all kinds of chances to close it out in straight sets. The two-time Wimbledon champion had a 15-40 opening to go up by a double-break (4-1) in the second set.

Even after missing that opportunity, she led 40-0 on her own serve to take a 4-2 advantage. Instead, Sakkari came back to break for 3-3. At 5-6, Kvitova led 40-15 to force a tiebreaker. Again, though, Sakkari wouldn’t go away. The 27-year-old stayed it and broke to extend the match to a decider. It was a third set that she dominated from start to finish.

Sakkari: “It’s a bloody good win”

“It was just the fact that I came back from a set, break….,” Sakkari said when asked why it was an emotional win. “Was it love-40 or 15-40? Who knows? Love-40 on her serve. It’s a good Kvitova again. I’m not saying that in a bad way. But last year for me, it was a lot easier (against her) than this year. She’s now in a good form.

“For me, coming back against her, now that she’s playing good, now that she has beaten so many good players, it’s a bloody good win. I just feel like the fact that I found a way today was one of the best comebacks of my life.”

Sakkari’s reward for her heroics is a semi-final showdown against Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka.

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