During the Tennis Plays for Peace exhibition held before the US Open, Stefanos Tsitsipas motivated his doubles partner Maria Sakkari to serve so strong that their opponent Matteo Berrettini can’t return. Stefanos said that if Sakkari achieves the feat, he will donate $10.000 to the Ukraine Crisis Relief Fund.
Sakkari missed the first serve but the second one was spot on, as you can see in the video below.
Sakkari on her friendship with Tsitsipas
In 2020, Maria Sakkari said she has not spoken to compatriot Tsitsipas after his tough five-set loss at the US Open against Borna Coric.
This happened in the context that the two players are close friends and even played Hopman Cup together for Greece. "I know it's tough. I didn't want to text him or anything so soon, because I know it hurts. I have never played five sets in my life, and I'm sure it's going to hurt even more.
We feel for him, every single player, because it's tough, you know, losing after having six match points. I think I never lost a match with that many match points. But I'm sure he's going to bounce back because he's a strong guy mentally.
I have a lot of confidence in him, and, you know, he's a great player. For me, he's a champion, so he's for sure going to come back stronger," said Sakkari. Besides Sakkari and Tsitsipas, another doubles couple made fans excited at the exhibition.
During a doubles match having Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek on one side and John McEnroe and Coco Gauff on the other side, the Spanish-Polish couple pulled off two tweeners in a row, looking like they are teaching a crash course on how to do the trick.
The match was part of the Tennis Plays For Peace exhibition in support of Ukrainian humanitarian relief. See the video here: Nadal and Swiatek go viral after spectacular tweeners against McEnroe and Gauff