Sakkari soars over Swiatek in their debut appearances at WTA Finals
Maria Sakkari makes quick work of Iga Swiatek during round-robin competition on Thursday in Guadalajara
- What happened: In the WTA Finals debut match for each woman, Maria Sakkari eased past Iga Swiatek.
- Why it matters: Sakkari’s 1-0 overall record and 2-0 record in sets puts her in good position for a semi-final spot.
- You will also learn: The Greek’s mastery of the head-to-head series with Swiatek continued in Guadalajara.
Maria Sakkari made an impressive statement in her opening match at the WTA Finals on Thursday afternoon.
In just one hour and 26 minutes, Sakkari swept aside Iga Swiatek 6-2, 6-4 in what was the first-ever match for both players at this prestigious year-end championship. In fact, six of the eight participants are making their debuts at the WTA Finals — which were cancelled in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Sakkari sprints into the lead
Sakkari seized control with her first break of the afternoon in the third game of the match. The world No 6 looked like she might relinquish the advantage while serving at 3-2, but she saved two break points to battle out of a 15-40 hole and hold for 4-2. A break at love allowed Sakkari to serve for the set at 5-2, which she successfully did without any trouble.
No coming back for Swiatek
More of the same continued in the second set, with Sakkari maintaining control from start to finish. Swiatek did well to fight off two breaks at 1-1 and stay on serve, but it was pretty much all over for the 2020 French Open champion when she got broken at 3-3. Sakkari capitalized on her third break chance in the seventh game and after that she could see the finish line.
The 26-year-old Greek dropped only one point in her final two service games to clinch victory in emphatic fashion.
Sakkari, who won an amazing 26 of 27 first-serve points, is now 3-0 lifetime against Swiatek. She is 6-0 in total sets at the 20-year-old Pole’s expense.
Chichen-Itza Group Standings
Sakkari is off to just about a perfect start in terms of matches won, sets won, and percentage of games one. Swiatek has a lot of work to do if she wants to eventually qualify for the semi-finals. Aryna Sabalenka will square off in the nightcap to see who will join Sakkari with a 1-0 record following the first day of competition in the Chichen-Itza foursome.
- Sakkari, 1-0 (2 sets won, 0 sets lost)
- Sabalenka, 0-0 (0 sets won, 0 sets lost)
- Badosa, 0-0 (0 sets won, 0 sets lost)
- Swiatek, 0-1 (0 sets won, 2 sets lost)