Karolina Pliskova seemingly gave Maria Sakkari a bit of a cold handshake after a little drama in the third set of their Indian Wells round-of-16 match. In the eighth game of the third set, Pliskova felt that Sakkari's racket touched one of the balls that went out of the court.
But the chair umpire did not see it and Sakkari denied that the ball ever touched her racket. The point was awarded to Sakkari.
In the end, Pliskova did manage to win that game and cut Sakkari's lead to 5-3 but the Greek served out for a 6-4 5-7 6-3 win in the following game.
A little drama in the Karolina Pliskova vs Maria Sakkari Indian Wells match
From what I can see, it looks like Maria’s racquet touched the ball & the point should’ve been awarded to Karolina.
I still don’t understand why tennis doesn’t use video replay for stuff like this..
Sakkari survives, 2h45, into the QFs in Indian Wells. No look handshake from Pliskova, who thinks Maria cheated later in the 3rd. Kaja says Sakkari touched a ball at the net, umpire didn’t see, Maria denies it pic.twitter.com/yVcTwgwFiG — José Morgado (@josemorgado) March 14, 2023
How Sakkari beat Pliskova?
Sakkari got off to a fast start to the match, earning back-to-back breaks in the first and third games to go 3-0 up.
Down by a double break, Pliskova didn't quit as she managed to get one break back in the fourth game and she also saved three break points in the following game to cut the deficit to 3-2. Pliskova got one break back but couldn't get back the second break as Sakkari held on to her serve for the rest of the first set to clinch the opener.
In the second set, Pliskova earned the first break in the fourth game but got broken back immediately in the following game. Pliskova then saved four break points in the ninth game for a 5-4 lead, before blowing two set points in the 10th game.
Pliskova maybe didn't manage to break Sakkari in the 10th game but she managed to do so in the 12th game - when the Greek was serving to stay in the second set. After winning a tight second set, Pliskova also started the third set with an early break and a 2-0 lead.
But Pliskova's game then suddenly collapsed as Sakkari responded with three consecutive breaks and five games in a row won for a 5-2 lead. In the eighth game - when the drama happened - Pliskova managed to get one break back.
But in the ninth game - when Pliskova was serving to stay in the match - the Czech again lost her serve as Sakkari completed a three-set win.