Maria Sakkari had a tough begin to 2021. She was caught in her room for 2 weeks of laborious quarantine in Australia, and the 25-year-old, a hard-charging bodily phenom recognized for her spartan mentality, admits that the expertise took a toll on her. It prompted her to lose what she calls “her id” on the court docket.
This week in Miami, the place she is now via to the semifinals for the primary time, the Greek star talked in regards to the expertise and defined why she is simply now rounding into the shape she seeks.
“I believe after the 2 weeks in Australia, caught within the room, I misplaced somewhat little bit of my id, which is being aggressive but in addition making numerous balls and taking part in bodily matches,” she mentioned on Monday after saving six match factors to stun Jessica Pegula within the spherical of 16. “Despite the fact that I had a few good wins after that, I wasn’t feeling it.”
Sakkari says that she has been working along with her coach Tom Hill and progressively getting again to her grinding, punishing recreation.
“So after Dubai we spent numerous time on court docket, to be trustworthy,” she mentioned. “We simply tried to get again that [mentality] and preserve my aggressive half and get again my, how can I say? – my boring recreation. That is how we name it with Tom. It feels now that I am getting it again. I believe these two weeks had been very laborious for my recreation, and, you already know, I simply was not feeling myself.”
SAKK ATTACK 💥
— wta (@WTA) March 31, 2021
Sakkari says she has made some refined modifications to the way in which she prepares, however says that her recreation, basically, stays the identical.
“I am warming up longer, warming up nearly for one hour earlier than the match, though circumstances are brutal right here, nevertheless it helps me,” Sakkari mentioned. “I watch movies of my gamers, of the opponents that I am gonna play since, you already know—so we try various things. It really works rather well. However it’s not one thing that tennis-wise that I am doing otherwise than I’ve been doing earlier than.”
All the optimistic developments have helped the Greek proceed a spectacular run in opposition to the High 5. Immediately in Miami she shocked Naomi Osaka for her fourth consecutive win in opposition to High 5 gamers.
Sakkari says her ways in opposition to Osaka had been strong, however she wasn’t about to inform the press what labored so effectively for her.
“With all my respect, I am not going to disclose the technique, not even somewhat bit,” she mentioned. “You already know, there’s numerous respect from my facet to her facet. She’s an amazing champion, and I believe, you already know, I imply, what she has achieved the final three years is unreal.”
The triumph was Sakkari’s second profession victory over Osaka in 5 tries. She is going to transfer on to face both Bianca Andreescu or Sara Sorribes Tormo within the semis.
“I used to be tremendous optimistic, and I believed in myself earlier than coming into the match,” she mentioned. “And I knew that I can do it, as a result of I already did it as soon as.”