Maria Sakkari US Open 2021

‘I understand’ – Maria Sakkari praised for her compassion in victory over Iga Swiatek

Maria Sakkari dominated proceedings against Iga Swiatek in their WTA Finals match, comforting the emotional Pole following the tie.

The Greek star and Swiatek are both making their debuts at the elite season-ending event. Sakkari is seeded fourht and Swiatek fifth.

Sakkari was clinical in her form, winning 6-2, 6-4 in just under 90 minutes with three breaks of serve.

In fact, match point down at 5-4 40-0 in the second set, the occasion overwhelmed Swiatek as she struggled to compose herself while in tears.

The Pole received a time violation before missing the return of serve to hand Sakkari victory.

The Greek showed great class, embracing a tearful Swiatek at the net and applauding her opponent off the court.

In her post-match interview, Sakkari spoke of what it meant for her to compete at the WTA Finals.

“It’s a reward for a great season that I’ve had this year,” Sakkari said. “I mean, we’ve all had a great year. We’re not here by luck. We’re here because we deserve it.

“And we’re all here to win the tournament. So, I understand how Iga [Swiatek] feels. And sometimes we forget she’s only 20 years old.

“Everything is very new for her. But I’m sure she’s going to bounce back.”

Even though Swiatek is a Slam champion, having won Roland Garros in 2020, she is still relatively new to the WTA tour.

She has played fewer than 200 matches at tour level. By contrast, Sakkari has over 600 matches played with 364 match wins.

Sakkari faces Paula Badosa next, who defeated top seed Aryna Sabalenka in her first round robin match. Swiatek will face Sabalenka in her second match.

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