Maria Sakkari has revealed she was in hospital hours before her first round match in Doha this week with stomach pains before deciding to play the tournament.
“I was in the hospital all Monday morning. I had a very sharp pain in my lower stomach,” she said.
“I just didn’t know if I was going to be able to play this tournament, because I was very, very bad, like I was dying.
“Three hours before the match, I just left the hospital and, OK, I’ll go try and play and see what I can do.
“Three days later, I’m in the semifinal, which gave me actually a lot of confidence, because it shows how much mental strength I have and of course physical strength, as well.”
No. 6 ranked Sakkari then saw off rising star Cori Gauff 6-3, 6-3 to reach the Doha semifinal.
“I’m good [now]. Not 100 per cent, I still get aches and pains on my stomach, but I’m a lot better,” she said.
“You can tell that I’m in good shape. With the way I played today and yesterday, I’m feeling good again. “This week was a very strange week.”