10sBalls.com • TennisBalls.com

Sakkari Secures Final WTA Finals Semifinal Spot With Scintillating Three-Set Thriller Over Sabalenka in Mexico – 10sBalls.com

Greek tennis player Maria Sakkari celebrates her victory over Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka, during a match at the AKRON WTA Finals tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico, 15 November 2021. EPA-EFE/Francisco Guasco

By: Thomas Cluck

What may be the match of a thrilling, electric WTA Finals in Guadalajara concluded the group stage of the year-end championships making their debut in Mexico with a spirit three-set thriller today going the way of Maria Sakkari late into the night over top seed Aryna Sabalenka. 

The Greek, seeded number four here, defeated the Belarusian world number two in a topsy-turvy, up-and-down roller coaster of a match with a Final Four spot on the line 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 to eliminate Sabalenka and end her season here in the round-robin stage.

The two tour-finals debutants put on a show for a passionate, exuberant Mexican crowd that matched the energy and intensity on court on a Monday night in Guadalajara. 

Greek tennis player Maria Sakkari (R) greets Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka (L), during a match at the AKRON WTA Finals tournament in Guadalajara, Mexico, 15 November 2021. EPA-EFE/Francisco Guasco

The winner-take-all nature of the match pitted the nerves and energy and altitude of this unique tour championship showcase with both Sakkari and Sabalenka battling through themselves as much as each other to play their best tennis at times.

For Sakkari, a last four showdown in the semifinals awaits against the hottest player on tour, Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit, who won her group Group Teotihuacán and the right to face the number two qualifier from Group Chichén-Itzá Sakkari on Tuesday night. 

Kontaveit, the eighth seed and final qualifier to these WTA Championships, is likely THE player to beat to get through to the Billie Jean King Trophy on Wednesday alongside Indian Wells winner, Paula Badosa of Spain, who will face her countrywoman and compatriot Garbiñe Mugurza in the day session semifinal tomorrow.

The battle between seven seed Badosa and six seed Muguruza will be one of big hitting while after the two hours and 47 minutes Sakkari spent on court tonight, her duel with Kontaveit may come down more to fitness and attrition with such a quick turnaround time for her while her opponent enjoyed the day off resting and three straight-set matches this week.