Maria Sakkari admitted she once thought she "never thought" she would be this good but her willingness to keep working hard paid off and led to her being considered one of the best in the game. Sakkari, who is 28 years old, enjoyed her breakthrough season in 2021.
That year, Sakkari reached her first Grand Slam semifinals at the French Open and US Open. Also, Sakkari broke into the top-10 for the first time in her career after the 2021 US Open. Sakkari, now ranked at No 9 in the world, also has a WTA 1000 title in her collection and she was also ranked as high as No 3 in the world.
“You always have to dream big. You have to follow your dreams. You have to believe in yourself. Work hard. Just never give up because great things can happen. My breakthrough came very late in my career. I never thought I was gonna be as good as I am today.
But because I kept working and putting in the hours, it got me to a point where I’m considered one of the best players right now. For me, that means you have to follow your dreams. You have to keep believing in yourself.
Surround yourself with people who believe in you. Surround yourself with good people," Sakkari said on TV Azteca Deportes.
Sakkari didn't quit after the US Open and it paid off
Sakkari was a part of one of the most memorable and inspiring moments on the WTA Tour in 2023.
After breaking down in tears following a US Open first round and contemplating a break from tennis because she was so disappointed, Sakkari ultimately decided to keep going. Three weeks later, Sakkari ended up lifting her first WTA 1000 title in Guadalajara.
Sakkari bouncing back in such a way was pretty inspiring as the Greek went from one of the lowest points of her career to winning the biggest title of her career. Now, Sakkari is preparing for the 2024 season, which she will start at the United Cup with Greece.