Maria Sakkari shares why she felt 'very tense and stressed' against Elena Rybakina

Sakkari took on Rybakina in her second group stage match at the WTA Finals.

by Dzevad Mesic
Maria Sakkari shares why she felt 'very tense and stressed' against Elena Rybakina
© Getty Images Sport - Clive Brunskill

Maria Sakkari admitted she felt "very tense and stressed" at the start of her match against Elena Rybakina because she didn't want to suffer another demolition loss. On Sunday, Sakkari just barely escaped a double-bagel as Aryna Sabalenka saw off the Greek 6-0 6-1.

Two days later, Sakkari returned to the court in Cancun for her second match. Sakkari didn't start well this time either as Rybakina won the opening set with a 6-0 scoreline. At that moment, things didn't look good for Sakkari and it looked like she may be heading toward another brutal loss.

But Sakkari managed to save two consecutive break points in the first game of the second set and from that moment the match became pretty even. In the end, Sakkari fell just short of creating a big comeback against Rybakina as the Kazakh edged out the Greek 6-0 6-7 (4) 7-6 (2).

Sakkari on overcoming fear against Rybakina

“I’d say I was very tense, very stressed. Probably the result of the score in the previous match was a little bit in my head. My biggest win today was that I overcame that fear on the court.

I was points away from perhaps winning that match. I thought I was gonna go down not playing good and finishing the season not in a good way. But today’s performance was promising. One side of me was telling me I couldn’t do it.

I had two creatures fighting within my mind and within myself. I’m happy I managed to overcome this because it was gonna be very, very tough for me losing two easy matches. That was my biggest win from todays match. It could’ve been ugly, but I was very close to winning that match," Sakkari said after the match.

With a 0-2 record, Sakkari has lost her chances of qualifying for the semifinal stage in Cancun. In her last group stage match at the WTA Finals, Sakkari will be taking on Jessica Pegula.

Maria Sakkari Elena Rybakina Wta Finals