‘Big step for her’ – Mats Wilander heaps praise on Maria Sakkari
Seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander has heaped praise onto world number three Maria Sakkari as she booked her place in the second round of the French Open.
Last year’s semi-finalist Maria Sakkari got off to a flying start at this years tournament as she cruised to a straight sets victory over France’s Clara Buel winning 6-2, 6-3.
The Greek number one overcame a partisan crowd as she dominated the match from the start breaking the 21-year-old twice before taking the opening set.
The fourth seed was strong in her groundstrokes and moving forwards when she needed to as she mustered 13 break points on her opponents serve.
Maria Sakkari was able to find the decisive break in the second set as she reached the second round for the fifth consecutive year.
Reflecting on Maria Sakkari’s performance, former world number one Mats Wilander praised the 26-year-old, claiming she is only going to get better as as the tournament progresses.
Speaking to Eurosport, the Swede told reporters, “[Sakkari] looked really good.
“I think it was an important match to get for her because Burel was keeping the ball in play and she was making Sakkari have to win the points and I think that’s good for your confidence.
“She’s had a great clay-court season of course, but I think this was a huge match. Like she’s been saying in interviews, to play on Philippe Chatrier in the first round and to play against an opponent that has a good feel, this is a big confidence step for her.”
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