Greece’s Maria Sakkari defeated Belgium’s Alison van Uytvanck 6-4 6-4 in the semifinals in Rabat, to make it to the second final of her career on the WTA Tour.
In a battle between sixth-seeded Sakkari and eighth-seeded van Uytvanck, it was the Belgian who got off to the better start, as she went up 3-1 in the first set. Despite that, Sakkari came back twice from a breakdown and ultimately won the set 6-4. In the second set, Sakkari got broken while serving for the match at 5-3, but she broke back immediately to take the set 6-4 and advance to the final of a clay-court tournament for the first time in her career.
This was Sakkari’s fourth straight-set win over the last four days, as she began the tournament on Tuesday, defeating Serbian qualifier Olga Danilovic 6-0 6-2 in the first round. In the second round, she beat Bulgarian wildcard Isabella Shinikova 6-4 6-4, before taking out the top seed and defending champion Elise Mertens (world number 18) of Belgium, 6-4 7-6 in the quarterfinals.
Sakkari will now face Great Britain’s Johanna Konta (world number 47) in the final. Konta, who was ranked as high as number four back in 2017, has won both previous matches against Sakkari. However, this is the first time they will be playing each other on clay. Konta is far from an experienced clay courter, as this tournament was just the first time ever that she made the quarterfinals on clay at the WTA level. On the other hand, Sakkari will look to become the first Greek woman since 2008 to win a WTA title.
Sakkari is currently ranked 51, the lowest she’s been ranked since March 2018. By reaching the final, she will now move up to 42 if she loses, and 39 if she wins.
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