Maria Sakkari ‘overcomes’ final demons to triumph in Guadalajara
Maria Sakkari has brought an end to her final woes, becoming the first player from Greece to lift a WTA 1000 title after triumphing in Guadalajara.
Sakkari beat the surprise package of the week in world No.111 Caroline Dolehide, 7-5 6-3, in a final that lasted one hour and 45 minutes.
The WTA No.9 had previously lost seven of her eight career finals, with her only previous title coming in Rabat back in 2019.
“It’s amazing, I’m speechless,” said Sakkari after the match. “It’s been four-and-a-half years since I won my first title, and I just finally won my second one. All these thoughts that I’ve been having all this time were very tough to overcome, and I’m just very proud of myself that I did it this week.
“I feel like I haven’t really realized what I did this week, and it’s going to take a little bit of time. But at the same time, I just want to really enjoy the moment today and tomorrow, and just keep working hard, because I’m sure that more are going to come in the future.”
The 28-year-old added, “I want to thank my coach Tom [Hill] who’s been with me the last five years. We waited more than four years for a second title. We’ve heard many bad things like I’ll never win a title. That I’m a top five player with only one title. That was very hard for me to overcome. I’m so happy I did it here this week.”
One of the Greek’s seven previous final losses was in-fact at the Guadalajara Open last year to Jessica Pegula.
In her post-match speech, Sakkari spoke about how she feels the Mexican city is her ‘second home’, “I’m so happy to be a part of this group of people, to be here every year, to celebrate with you guys. With all of you. This is my second home. Thank you so much.”
Sakkari will be hoping to make a return to Mexico in just over a months time when the WTA Finals make their debut appearance in Cancun.
With the second title of her career, Sakkari moves up to No.9 in the WTA race and sits only 308 points away from that allusive eighth spot currently held by Ons Jabeur.
Maria Sakkari and her run to a maiden WTA 1000 title
Sakkari did not drop a set in Guadalajara all week, becoming the first woman to achieve this feat at a WTA 1000 event since Iga Swiatek in Miami last year.
Here is how she did it:
First Round – Received a bye as the second seed
Second Round – Beat Storm Hunter, 6-2 6-4
Third Round – Beat Camila Giorgi, 6-2 6-2
Quarter-final – Beat Emiliana Arango, 6-3 6-4
Semi-final – Beat Caroline Garcia (3), 6-3 6-0
Final – Beat Caroline Dolehide, 7-5 6-3
a trophy, a sombrero and a happy Sakkari pic.twitter.com/Rffr30sqd0
— wta (@WTA) September 24, 2023
Read >> World’s best tennis magazine