Maria Sakkari had a pretty strong message for her doubters and critics following her Guadalajara win, telling those people that they gave her "the fuel and strength" to do this. On Saturday, 28-year-old Sakkari defeated Caroline Dolehide 7-5 6-3 in the Guadalajara final to lift her first WTA 1000 title.
Also, it was Sakkari's second WTA title and her first WTA title since 2019. Prior to winning Guadalajara, Sakkari was 0-6 in her final matches. Over the last few years, Sakkari heard and read many comments that were pretty insulting to her record in the semifinals and finals. "We live in 2023.
Social media is a part of our everyday life. You cannot avoid it. Coco said she knows the user names. I know them too. I know the person with a YouTube channel who posts all my semifinal losses, all my final losses. I'm aware. The satisfaction now, I cannot describe it.
When you prove all these people wrong, it's fuel. For me, it worked as fuel. I knew it was going to come, I didn't know when. Thank you to them. They gave me strength," Sakkari said on the WTA Insider podcast.
Sakkari 'very proud' of herself
At the US Open, Sakkari suffered a surprise first-round defeat to Rebeka Masarova.
After picking up her third consecutive first-round loss at a Grand Slam, Sakkari burst into tears and became very emotional. At the time, Sakkari also indicated the may take a break from tennis. But Sakkari received enormous support following her emotional US Open press conference and she decided against taking a break from tennis.
"I'm just very proud of myself. Being like that at the US Open, wanting to take a break, and then finding the joy again during the week. It's a big title, my biggest title, it means so much. But over everything, it's just pure happiness and pure joy," Sakkari said.
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