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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday March 15, 2023

Maria Sakkari

Maria Sakkari won from a set down for the third time in four rounds to reach the semis at the BNP Paribas Open.

Photo Source: Getty

She called it one of the best comebacks of her career.

She should know. This week at Indian Wells, Maria Sakkari has been the queen of the comeback, rallying three times from a set down to win and going 4-0 in deciding sets to reach the semifinals at the BNP Paribas Open.

Tennis Express

On Wednesday she edged Petra Kvitova 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, to set a semifinal clash with Aryna Sabalenka on Friday at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Sakkari said she felt like an amateur through a set and a half against the 33-year-old Czech, but told herself just to keep fighting. Eventually, Kvitova’s torrid tennis hit a speed bump and there was an opportunity for the Greek to push back.

Sakkari turned the tides serving at 1-3, 15-40, taking charge to notch the clutch hold. From there she won six of the final eight games of the set to level up.

“Fr 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 said.

The Greek trails 4-3 in the head-to-head with Sabalenka, who rifled past Coco Gauff, 6-4, 6-0 on Wednesday afternoon. She says she has the utmost respect for the newly minted Grand Slam champion, and knows the challenge of facing her will be greater now that Sabalenka has unlocked her game.

“I knew that she was gonna win a Grand Slam,” she said. “It actually came, and I was very happy for her. She's a very nice girl. She's very fun to be around. It's going to be very, very tough, because she's feeling the ball really well.”


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