Greek tennis star Maria Sakkari admitted she was disappointed after losing the St. Petersburg final but added that Anett Kontaveit deserved the title. Sakkari, seeded at No. 1, was on the brink of winning the St. Petersburg title but then Kontaveit pulled off a stunning comeback to beat the Greek 5-7 7-6 (4) 7-5.
Sakkari and Kontaveit are familiar opponents, having met 13 times. Kontaveit now leads the head-to-head against Sakkari 7-6. “This feels familiar. Anett, here we are once again. It’s disappointing from my side but you really deserve it.
We’re great friends and I’m really happy for you for your achievements," Sakkari said after the loss, per WTA Insider.
Sakkari blew a big lead
Sakkari failed to convert a break point in the third game, before losing her serve in the sixth game of the first set.
After falling 5-2 down in the first set, Sakkari responded by claiming three consecutive breaks as she won five games in a row to overturn the deficit and win the opener. Sakkari continued her run at the start of the second set, having won the opening two games.
Sakkari also had a chance to go up by a double break but she blew three break points in the third game. Kontaveit refused to quit and got the break back in the sixth game to level the set at three games apiece. Sakkari blew two more break points in the 11th game but also saved a set point in the following game to force a tie-break.
In the tie-break, Kontaveit realized her third set point to send the match into a decider. Sakkari made the first move in the third set as she took an early 3-0 lead. Kontaveit was 5-2 down in the third set and on the brink of losing the final but then claimed back-to-back and won five breaks in a row to overturn the deficit and win the title.
It was a disappointing finish for Sakkari, who was aiming to lift her first title of the season. Previously, Sakkari made the round-of-16 in Adelaide and the Australian Open. It was a disappointing finish for Sakkari but still a good week in St. Petersburg.