Maria Sakkari says she is now in a much better place mentally than she was at Roland Garros last year. Sakkari, 27, suffered a surprise French Open second-round defeat to Karolina Muchova last year. On Friday, Sakkari learned she would again be facing Muchova - this time in the French Open first round.
“We played last year here, I was in a very dark place, mentally. I wasn’t anywhere near compared to how I feel this year, mentally, physically, tennis-wise and everything," Sakkari told rolandgarros.com. Sakkari, who will be turning 28 in July, admits there are still times when she might feel down.
However, Sakkari knows better how to deal with such situations. “There are situations where I might get myself back into but now I know how to get over them, and I just feel like everything in life is a learning lesson.
At the end of the day life is not just going up. You always have your ups and downs and I just have to accept that and get out of it stronger," Sakkari added.
Sakkari feeling much better this time ahead of the Muchova match
Sakkari, ranked at No 8 in the world, made the French Open semifinal in 2021.
After a strong French Open run in 2021, Sakkari wasn't in great spirits when she returned to Roland Garros in 2022. But now, Sakkari is feeling better and hoping to do better than last year. “Coming here and having those days, compared to how it was last year, it does make a huge difference with my preparation for the tournament.
I just remember last year, how it was leading into this tournament, it was just horrible - there are only positives this year," Sakkari reflected. It remains to be seen if Sakkari can beat Muchova and start her French Open campaign with a really strong win.
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