Kremlin Cup: Maria Sakkari reaches last-eight; claims a spot in the WTA Finals

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Kremlin Cup: Maria Sakkari reaches last-eight; claims a spot in the WTA Finals

Maria Sakkari reached the quarter-finals of the Kremlin Cup on Thursday with a 6-2, 1-0 (Retd.) win over Anna Kalinskaya. The seventh-ranked Greek, who’s seeded third this week in the Russian capital, also qualified for the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Mexico following the result.

Sakkari dominated the match from the get-go and even broke the Russian to begin the second set. It was at that point that Kalinskaya felt unable to continue in the match due to illness. Meanwhile, speaking about her qualifying for the season finale, Sakkari said in her post-match presser, “It was a very important match.

I knew that before I stepped on the court because I knew that if I won that match, I would qualify [for the WTA Finals]. It’s achieving one of my biggest goals this year, it’s very satisfying… I was very hard on myself up until this year...

Growing, and also getting older and more mature, you see certain things different. Being nice to myself was one of the most important things I’ve changed this year, being nice during the games and the matches”.

Kremlin Cup: Maria Sakkari to ignite rivalry with Simona Halep

Sakkari’s become the first Greek woman to play the year-end tournament.

With respect to her quarter-finals in Moscow, the 2021 French Open semi-finalist will take on eighth seed Simona Halep. Halep defeated Kalinskaya’s fellow Russian, Veronika Kudermetova 6-1, 7-6(4) in an hour and 39 minutes.

This will be the first meeting between the two players. Ninth seed Anett Kontaveit also reached the quarter-finals in Moscow with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Andrea Petkovic in just 69 minutes. Kontaveit will play second Garbine Muguruza for a place in the semi-finals.

The Czech Republic’s Marketa Vondrousova completed the quarter-final round-up at the Kremlin Cup. The 2020 Tokyo Games’ silver medallist defeated Lesia Tsurenko 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 17 minutes in their round-of-16 clash. Looking to reach the semi-finals, Vondrousova will play fourth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova next.