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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Saturday September 25, 2021

Maria Sakkari

Maria Sakkari topped Iga Swiatek in Ostrava to reach her first WTA final since Ostrava.

Photo Source: Getty

Maria Sakkari has made big strides in so many ways in 2021. She reached her maiden Grand Slam semifinal at Roland Garros and matched that result at the US Open. She has climbed to a career-high ranking of 12, which is where she sits today. But the 26-year-old Greek had not reached a WTA final since April of 2019, and had lost her last nine WTA semifinals heading into Saturday’s showdown with top-seeded Iga Swiatek at the Ostrava Open.

Tennis Express

Another day, another stride for Sakkari.

Sakkari overcame the hurdle and produced an impressive 6-4, 7-5 victory over Swiatek in one hour and 52 minutes to book her spot in Sunday’s final, where she’ll face Anett Kontaveit, who defeated Petra Kvitova, 6-0, 6-4.

“You always have to expect that a player like Iga is going to comeback,” Sakkari said after closing out the victory. “She’s not going to give up. I was ready for her to bounce back because she is an extremely good player – she’s one of the best in the world. I was prepared for a very tough match and a very tough second set, I always knew that it was not going to be easy.”

Sakkari improves to 2-0 lifetime against Swiatek, with both wins coming in 2021. She won 76 percent of her first-serve points (compared to 69 percent for Swiatek) and saved two of three break points.

Sakkari cracked 22 winners against 27 unforced errors to earn her seventh Top-10 win of 2021 and improve to 34-15 overall.

Sakkari is increasing her chances of reaching the WTA Finals at Guadalajara this year with each win. She started the day in sixth place in the race.

Swiatek drops to 33-12 on the season with her loss, and 4-7 against the Top-20.


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