World No. 18 Maria Sakkari insisted she was prepared for a thriller against seventh-ranked Bianca Andreescu at the US Open. Sakkari, 26, recovered from a set down to beat Andreescu 6-7 7-6 (6) 6-3 and reach the US Open quarterfinal.
Andreescu, who won the US Open in her debut appearance at the tournament in 2019, skipped the tournament last year. Sakkari snapped Andreescu's streak of 10 matches won at the US Open and handed the Canadian her first loss at Flushing Meadows.
The match finished at 2:13 am. "I told Tom and my team before the match that I'm prepared for 7-6 in the third," Sakkari said, per the WTA website. "Seriously, I never thought that with Bianca it would be like 6-4, 6-1 unless I played lights out tennis, hit winners left and right.
But because she fights every single point, I knew that it was going to be a very tough match."
Sakkari figured out she needed to play more aggressive
Sakkari twice blew a break in the second set but realized her fourth set in the second-set tie-break to force a decider.
In the decider, Sakkari lost the opening two games but responded with three breaks to complete a comeback win. "I think in the first set especially I was not going for my shots like I normally do," Sakkari said.
"I was a little bit not very confident with my groundstrokes. I said, Maria, if you want to win this match, you have to go for it. It's better if you go for it and miss than just make balls, she hits winners." "I didn't have the control of the match until middle of the second set.
I felt like she was better than me, but then somehow I dug in and found a way to just turn things around. I was more brave after a certain point of the match, then got my energy level a little bit higher."