The pressure and stress completely got to Maria Sakkari in the Indian Wells final against Iga Swiatek as the Greek started screaming at her team and threatening her coach Tom Hill to "break the racket if you say one more word." In the third episode of Netflix's tennis documentary "Break Point", Sakkari was the featured player and it detailed her run to her first WTA 1000 final in Indian Wells.
"Keep playing to the middle. It's fine. You've got this," Hill told Sakkari during the first set of her final against Swiatek. Sakkari quickly responded: "I went middle and she went on the line. F--- me (threw a towel at that moment)." After Swiatek won the first set and opened an early second-set break, Hill told the Greek: "Play everything through the middle of the court.
Every single ball." Sakkari nervously looked at Hill and said: "One more word and I will break the racket." Shortly after, Sakkari completely lost the situation on the court. "Go to hell. Nothing goes in," Sakkari shouted in Greek.
While Sakkari was raging on the court, coach Hill figured out that saying anything would just make the situation worse. "Anything we say now is going to piss her off more," Hill told the team. In the end, Sakkari ended up suffering a 6-4 6-1 loss.
Sakkari on the pressure she was feeling
"When you want things so badly, sometimes you just cannot handle the pressure It's like two little creatures inside of me just fighting," Sakkari said in the episode. After the final was over and Sakkari calmed, the Greek admitted she completely lost herself and that it was kind of embarrassing.
"All the pressure I had these years, it just came out. It was horrible. I just want to cry. It's embarrassing. You are not yourself. I was not the Maria I was for the entire two weeks. That emotional win against Paula in the semifinals just took away a lot of energy from me.
Even losing is part of the game. We all learn how to lose. Unless you are Roger, Rafa or Novak. That's a different story. The rest of us, we are going to lose more than we win," Sakkari explained.