Maria Sakkari: Greek player qualifies for end-of-season WTA finals

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Sakkari edged Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya in the second round on Thursday, winning the first set 6-2 before Kalinskaya retired in the second set as Sakkari led 1-0.

Sakkari, who will face Simona Halep in the final eight, continues a decisive season where she finished second in the WTA 500 event in Ostrava, Czech Republic, and reached the semi-finals of the major tournaments of the French Open and the US Open.

“I am very proud of myself and my team that we have reached the final for the first time, and for the first time in the history of Greece for a tennis player,” said Sakkari.

“I was very hard on myself until this year … As you grow up, and also as you get older and mature, you see some things differently.

“Being kind to myself was one of the most important things I changed this year, being kind in games and games.”

The world number seven is the fifth player after Ash Barty, Aryna Sabalenka, Barbora Krejcikova and Karolina Pliskova to advance to the final, which takes place in November in Guadalajara, Mexico.

The final, contested by the world’s eight best singles players and eight doubles teams, was moved from Shenzhen to China after last year’s event was canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

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