Maria Sakkari admitted that she wasn't happy with the level of tennis she delivered after suffering a shock Australian Open third-round defeat to Zhu Lin. Sakkari, who was seeded at No 6, entered the match as the big favorite but 87th-ranked Zhu stunned the Greek 7-6 (3) 1-6 6-4.
"I think that my level was not good at all. I started the match by being very defensive and very, like, not hitting the ball, just being scared of playing my game. You know, the other girl, she had basically nothing to lose.
She was playing free. She was enjoying herself. She was playing very, very good," Sakkari said after the match, per the WTA website. Also, Sakkari acknowledged that Zhu definitely delivered a strong level of tennis. "I've seen her on the tour.
I've never seen her playing that well, to be honest. Of course, beating Jil in the round up before, and I didn't remember her moving that well as she did today," Sakkari added.
How Sakkari lost to Zhu
Sakkari dropped her service in the very first game of the match, but broke back Zhu immediately in the following game.
After just getting the break back, Sakkari again lost her service in the third game. In the 10th game - when Zhu was serving for the first set - Sakkari got the break back and managed to force a tie-break. In the tie-break, Zhu won four points in a row to open a 4-1 lead before converting her second set point to win the first set.
After losing the first set, Sakkari responded by breaking Zhu four times in the second set to easily force a decider. Sakkari dominated the second set but then lost her serve in the very first game of the third set. Sakkari managed to get the break back in the sixth game but again lost her serve in the ninth game as Zhu took a 5-4 lead. This time, Sakkari wasn't able to get the break back as Zhu served out for the match.