Maria Sakkari makes radical move amid latest struggles and top-10 exit

Sakkari makes a change after three consecutive defeats.

by Dzevad Mesic
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Maria Sakkari makes radical move amid latest struggles and top-10 exit
© Getty Images Sport - Brendon Thorne

Maria Sakkari has announced that she is splitting with coach Tom Hill after six years of working together. 

After hiring Hill, Sakkari - now 28 years old - elevated her game and career to another level. During their partnership, Sakkari won two WTA titles - became a WTA 1000 champion - made two Grand Slam semifinals - as well as reached the top-10 for the first time in her career and achieved a career-high ranking of No. 2 in the world.

Maria Sakkari and Tom Hill
Maria Sakkari and Tom Hill© Getty Images Sport - Hector Vivas
 

But after going 2-4 in Grand Slams last year, Sakkari had another very disappointing result at this year's Australian Open, suffering a shock loss to Elina Avanesyan in the second round. After losing to Avanesyan, Sakkari also lost in the Abu Dhabi and Doha first round. 

This week, Sakkari was up by a set - had a 5-3 lead and a match point in the second set - before Linda Noskova came back to beat the Greek 3-6 7-6 (2) 7-5. Sakkari, who is ranked at No. 9 in the world, will exit the top-10 on Monday and it will be the first time since 2021 September that the Greek won't be a top-10 player.

Sakkari splits with coach Hill

"Tom, Thank you for all the emotions, the support on and off the court, and the belief you had in me since day one. We grew together, and you helped me realize that everything is possible. Not only did you make me a better tennis player, but you also made me a better person," Sakkari wrote on Instagram.

"Thank you for always wanting the best for me and for always having my back! Good luck on the next chapter in your career."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by SAKKATTACK (@mariasakkari)

Coach Hill also issued a statement, saying he and Sakkari will remain friends. 

"After 6 great years together, Maria and I are ending our professional partnership but will continue to remain close friends. Our journey has been filled with incredible achievements: climbing to a career-high of world number 3, Grand Slam semifinals, a WTA 1000 title and 125 consecutive weeks in the Top 10," Hill wrote on Instagram.

In his message, Hill also said he and Sakkari believe this is a decision that will ultimately work out in favor of both of them. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Tom Hill (@tomhill95)

Maria Sakkari
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