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WTA Finals: Sakkari beats Jabeur in straight sets to top round-robin group and send Sabalenka into semi-finals
Maria Sakkari also becomes only the eighth player in the history of the tournament to win all her round-robin matches in straight sets
Greece’s Maria Sakkari maintained her perfect record at the WTA Finals with a straight-sets win over world No 2 Ons Jabeur on Friday evening, a victory that ensured Aryna Sabalenka of her place in the semi-finals.
Sakkari needed just 69 minutes to win 6-2, 6-3 over the Wimbledon and US Open runner-up. This was her third consecutive win in the round-robin group stage after scoring wins over Jessica Pegula and Sabalenka earlier in the week.
The Greek has not dropped a set all week, going 6-0 and tops the Nancy Richey Group. She will meet the winner of Saturday’s winner takes all battle between Caroline Garcia and Daria Kasatkina.
Sakkari also becomes only the eighth player in the history of the tournament to win all her round-robin matches in straight sets.
Sakkari : “Fearless on the court”
“I think I just have to keep doing what I’ve been doing,” Sakkari said, as quoted by the WTA Tour. “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’s straight-sets win also ensured that Sabalenka qualifies for the semi-finals as the runner-up in the Nancy Richey Group. The Belarusian will face Iga Swiatek, the world No 1, who topped the Tracy Austin Group, in the semi-finals.
After struggling for a major part of the season, Sakkari came into Fort Worth as the last qualifier for the eight-woman field, thanks to a WTA 1000 final in Guadalajara. She has now qualified for the semis of the WTA Finals for the second year in a row.
This marks her 15th WTA level semi-final since the beginning of the 2021 season – which is the most for any player along with Swiatek.
Sakkari’s win over Jabeur was her 40th WTA win of the season – her highest number of wins in a single season in her career so far.