Guadalajara, Jalisco, November 11, 2021.- This afternoon, the opening matches in the Chichen Itza group of the AKRON WTA Finals began with a match between the Greek Maria Sakkari and Poland’s Iga Swiatek, fourth and fifth seeds, respectively; both players made their Finals debut.
Sakkari is the first Greek female tennis player to qualify for the prestigious year end tournament; meanwhile, Swiatek is the second Polish woman to do so, after Agnieszka Radwanska, who was participated in the event eight times and won the championship in 2015.
As for Sakkari, playing in this tournament is like a dream come true. “During the season, I was not expecting this, to be honest, but after Paris I thought I had a chance. It feels amazing to be here playing against the best.”
Sakkari has a 2-0 record in matches against Swiatek – both wins this year. Sakkari defeated her at the semi-finals in Ostrava and the quarter-finals at Roland Garros. Regarding her chances at the AKRON WTA Finals, the Greek said “I’m sure that I will not have any easy match in this group. I’m ready. If it goes well, great and if not, I am not disappointed because I had a good season.” Sakkari made the semi-finals at Roland Garros and the semi-finals at the US Open. She was also a finalist at the tournament in Ostrava and reached the semifinals in the WTA 1000 from Miami.
Sakkari is the first Greek tennis player to reach the Top 10 of the rankings of the WTA. Her compatriot, Stefanos Tsitsipas, achieved the same great achievement on the men’s side.
Iga Swiatek, who won the titles in Adelaide and Rome, said that playing at an altitude will be a bit tricky but she explained that she plans to adjust her style of play. “I think I’ll feel good about my game, trying risky shots. I will focus on being in rhythm and playing a solid game.”