World No. 6 Maria Sakkari has been voted as the Greece's top female athlete of the year. Sakkari, 26, enjoyed a breakout season on the WTA Tour as she made two Grand Slam semiifnals, debuted at the WTA Finals and broke into the top-10 for the first time in her career.
Sakkari was recognized alongside NBA star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was named as the Greece's top male athlete of the year. "Reaching my first two Grand Slam semi-finals in one season has been incredible and ending the season in Guadalajara at the WTA Finals really was a dream come true.
But it did not happen by mistake," Sakkari wrote for Player's Voice. "Before this year, I would say that sometimes I was a little too hard and negative on myself. This season, with the help of surrounding myself with the right people, I’ve concentrated on making my mindset much more positive by manifesting kinder thoughts.
I think my results have benefited from that, so I would definitely say that being nice to yourself is always a good idea."
Sakkari wantsto be a 'little more arrogant'
Coach Tom Hill wanted Sakkari to be confident in herself so he advised her to become a little more arrogant.
"I know my coach, Tom Hill, has said that he wants me to become a little more arrogant… I think by this, he just means that I need to believe in myself more, which is true. I think my two Grand Slam semi-finals show that I’m doing the right things and of course, having these results helps a lot in terms of finding that self-belief and realising what I’m actually capable of achieving," Sakkari explained.
"I’m also working with a mental coach who really knows me and we’re focussing on finding ways I can build my confidence away from the court so I’m not just relying on my results. Having this balance is really helping and I’m in the process of becoming a little better every day."