Maria Sakkari (5)
-26 years old
-World number six
Intro and last year
Last year’s Australian Open was a poor showing from Maria Sakkari, she made a first round exit to Mladenovic. This year she returns as the fifth seed, one higher than her world ranking, off the back of her best season to date.
History at the event
Sakkari has attended the Australian Open six times, and her best result came in 2020, reaching the fourth round. The slower courts in 2020 favoured her defensive style.
Notable victories are defeating Madison Keys in 2020, beating Jelena Ostapenko in 2019, and taking out Anett Kontaveit in 2017.
Record is 8-6, 57% win rate.
2021 was a breakthrough year. She became the first Greek woman in the top ten and now sits at world number six. She made a WTA Finals appearance, and reached two grand slam semifinals, but won no titles (her last being in 2019).
Build up and form
The last tournament Sakkari attended in 2021 was the WTA Finals, where she lost in the semi final, a strong performance.
In 2022 she made the second round of the Adelaide international, but lost to Shelby Rogers, who has a habit of beating better players, but not climbing the rankings much.
Sakkari in 2021 was consistent, and she has always had strong physicality. In 2021 she learned to attack, now she’s always near the top and a proven grand slam player.
No titles since 2019, and she’s still just below the very best level.
Another semifinal seems to be the best she could achieve, but as soon as a top quality player comes along Sakkari is in trouble. A fourth round is reasonable, unless the Rogers loss is a sign of yet another poor result here.
Best possible: SF
Expected: 4th round
Worst possible: 2nd round