World No. 9 Maria Sakkari insists her desire to make the WTA Finals can't be any bigger as she is extremely motivated to make her debut at the season-ending event this year. Sakkari, who has a great 2021 season, is ranked fifth on the Race to the WTA Finals list and she will likely make the season-ending event.
"It would sound crazy and stupid if I said that I'm not motivated because I'm trying to achieve one of the biggest goals of my career, for the first time, which is the WTA Finals, and I'm more motivated than I was in the first week of the year, because, yes, it is the end of the season and I know that other players are tired, and I know that other players don't have that goal,” Sakkari said during her pre-tournament press conference, per Tennis Now.
Sakkari can envision herself at the WTA Finals
"I know that with a couple of good results I'm probably going to make it," she said. "It doesn't add any stress, it doesn't make me feel any pressure but I know that I can, and I see myself [in Guadalajara] so my motivation is pretty high.
I'm feeling fresh, I'm keeping my body, and actually making clever decisions with practice and rest and everything in order for me to last until the middle of November." Sakkari suggested she didn't believe at the start of the season that she would be in contention for the WTA Finals.
"I cannot imagine myself being in that position at the beginning of the year," she said. "It's great to be in that position. I really like the challenge and I really enjoy that I actually have a chance, because, yes, it might sound crazy for someone that has played the finals a couple of times or three or four times, maybe their motivation is not as high as it is for me, because let's be real it's my first time and it's a goal - it's something big for a tennis player, it is one of the best tournaments in the world and it is only eight players that get to play it. "It's been a very successful year for me, and I know that I can finish the year strong for sure."