World No 5 Maria Sakkari reveals Angelique Kerber warned her at the start of this season that there would be adversity and challenges. In 2021 September, Sakkari broke into the top-10 for the first time in her career. This season, 27-year-old Sakkari rose to as high as No 3 in the world.
But for Sakkari, the 2022 season was full of adversity, challenges, and ups and downs. After Sakkari broke into the top-3 in late March, she started dealing with panic attacks and withdrawing from those close to her.
Sakkari on the Kerber prediction that turned out to be correct
"When you first break into the top-10, and you first finish your season, I think the next season is the toughest one.
Actually, Kerber went up to (my coach) Tom because we practiced at the Australian Open, and she was like good luck this season. It's gonna be the toughest one. When she first finished top-10, her next season she finished around 10 in the world.
So we had a warning. Obviously, I didn't know it was gonna be that tough. But again, there are so many things that went wrong this year, but at the same time, I managed to get myself in the right direction. And I'm proud that I could finish the year in the top-10 and being one of the best players," Sakkari told WTA Insider.
Toward the end of the season, Sakkari clinched some notable results.
After finishing runner-up in Parma and Guadalajara, Sakkari was able to clinch the final spot for the WTA Finals. At the prestigious season-ending tournament in Fort Worth, Sakkari easily made it past the group stage with a 3-0 record.
After dominating the group stage, Sakkari didn't impress versus Caroline Garcia in the semifinal. On Sunday, Sakkari's 2022 season officially came to an end following a 6-3 6-2 loss to Garcia. In her WTA Finals debut last year, Sakkari also made the semifinal before exiting the tournament.
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