Maria Sakkari (5)

-Greece

-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.

Maria SAKKARI at the 2021 WTA 500 Yarra Valley Classic – Tennis Australia/ Luke Hemer

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.

Maria Sakkari at the 2020 Australian Open – Anne Parker International Sports Fotos Ltd/Alamy Live News

Record is 8-6, 57% win rate.

Last season

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).

Maria Sakkari at the 2021 US Open – Darren Carroll/USTA

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. 

Positives

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.

Maria Sakkari at the 2021 US Open – Darren Carroll/USTA

Negatives

No titles since 2019, and she’s still just below the very best level.

Expectations

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.

Maria Sakkari after winning the quarterfinal at the 2021 US Open – Garrett Ellwood/USTA

Best possible: SF

Expected: 4th round

Worst possible: 2nd round

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