From tears of disappointment at the US Open to winning the title in Guadalajara
There is no doubt that Maria Sakkari is the top Greek athlete of all time in tennis, giving us countless moments of pride with her performances and the victories that have cemented her and brought her up to the 3rd position in the world rankings.
About a month ago, Sakkari suffered a big shock at the US Open, when she was eliminated very early, in the first round. Immediately after her early elimination, the tennis player was at the press conference where she could not hold back her tears and burst into tears. After a question from a Greek journalist about her next steps, Sakkari replied “I don’t really know”, she bowed her head and supported it in her hands hiding her face and could be heard crying saying “It’s always the same”.
In fact, she was very harshly critical of herself in her statements, describing in the most convincing way her disappointment from this failure: ‘I think that my level was below zero, it’s very bad at the level I’m at to compete in this way, it hurts me very much and okay it’s very difficult to deal with all this at the moment, it’s very painful. It’s very fresh right now what is the right thing to do or what is what I want to do, it’s also the emotions right now of the race. There are these two scenarios in my mind and it’s very frustrating. I feel like I’ve embarrassed myself, I’ve embarrassed my people, I’ve embarrassed all Greeks.”
Almost a month later, Maria Sakkari bounced back and rose to the top, making history by winning the second and most important title of her career (WTA1000).
The top Greek tennis player, a few seconds after winning a match-point, fell to the court and then tearfully walked over to her mother, Angeliki Kanellopoulou, and her sister Amanda and said “Mum we did it”. A short time later she hugged her coach, Tom Hill.
In her remarks at the ceremony, she even referred to the great Gabriella Sabatini who was there and dedicated the title to her grandfather who passed away in the summer of 2022.
“I want to thank my family, who are back home. I wish they could be here with me, but they are watching and they are very proud of me.
I want to dedicate this trophy to my grandfather who passed away last year and my grandmother who is watching. I don’t want to forget my coach, Tom, who has been with me for the last 5 years.
We waited over 4 years for our 2nd title. We heard so many bad things, that I would never win a title, that I would be a Top 5 player with only one title… All of that was very hard for me to overcome and I’m very happy to have achieved it here this week.”