Former seven-time Grand Slam champion Mats Wilander thought Maria Sakkari performed extremely well in her French Open first round and added it will provide the Greek a great boost of confidence for the rest of the tournament.
Sakkari, who reached the semifinal at Roland Garros last year, kicked off her French Open campaign with a 6-2 6-3 win over home favorite Clara Burel. Sakkari, seeded at No. 4, is aiming to go a step further at Roland Garros this year and potentially win her first Grand Slam title.
“[Sakkari] looked really good," Wilander told Eurosport, per Tennishead. “I think it was an important match to get for her because Burel was keeping the ball in play and she was making Sakkari have to win the points and I think that’s good for your confidence.
She’s had a great clay-court season of course, but I think this was a huge match. Like she’s been saying in interviews, to play on Philippe Chatrier in the first round and to play against an opponent that has a good feel, this is a big confidence step for her”.
Sakkari handled Burel in straight sets
Sakkari had a bit of a problems on her serve but it didn't impact the outcome of the match. In the first set, Sakkari lost her serve once but broke Burel three times to still easily win the first set.
Sakkari dropped her service in the opening game of the second set but responded by claiming breaks in the second and eighth game. In the end, Sakkari claimed a straight-set win and set up a second round meeting versus Karolina Muchova.
Sakkari made two deep Grand Slam runs last year and she is hoping for a big Grand Slam breakthrough in 2022. Sakkari can certainly play well on clay and she is considered among favorites for the French Open crown. Earlier this year, Sakkari reached the last-16 at the Australian Open. It remains to be seen how far can Sakkari go at Roland Garros.