Maria Sakkari opens on how she feels at start of clay season

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Maria Sakkari opens on how she feels at start of clay season

World No. 5 Maria Sakkari is looking forward to this year's clay season as she is hoping to achieve some strong results during her favorite part of the year. Last year, Sakkari was struggling a bit with her form at the start of the clay season but finished the clay swing with a semifinal appearance at the French Open.

This week, Sakkari is set to open her clay season in Sttuttgart, where she is the fourth-seeded player. Sakkari admitted she may feel a bit rusty at the start of the clay season but expects to eventually reach her best game.

“I've been training on indoor clay for the last two weeks. This is my favorite swing and I feel good," Sakkari said, per WTA Insider. "The first couple of matches I'm expecting them to be a little bit rusty, not feeling my tennis on the highest level, but I'm sure it will get there."

Sakkari could meet Iga Swiatek in the Stuttgart final

Sakkari and Swiatek are among top favorites for the Stuttgart title. Sakkari and Swiatek recently met in the Indian Wells final as the Pole claimed a routine 6-4 6-1 win.

After the match, Sakkari opened on the rivalry with Swiatek. "Iga said we'll be playing [each other] for 10 more years, but I don't think I'll be playing for 10 more years tennis," Sakkari said of her rivalry with Swiatek.

"There's an age difference between [us]. "But I believe what she says. As long as I'll be playing for, there will be a lot of matches between the two of us. "There are a few girls that now have a different level and we're playing each other more and more.

I'm excited for that. I'm excited because it means that if I get to play her every week, her or Ash or Sabalenka, Krejcikova, all these girls, it means that we're in a good place." Sakkari was beaten in the Stuttgart round-of-16 last year as she will be hoping to do much better this week.