Maria Sakkari became the first Greek woman since 2008 to win a WTA title, as she came from behind to defeat Great Britain’s Johanna Konta in three sets in the final of Rabat.
Although Konta had won both of their two previous meetings, this was their first meeting on clay. Konta comfortably took the opening set 6-2, and subsequently went up 4-2 in the second set. Nevertheless, the Greek would fight back to take the second set 6-4. She cruised through the third set 6-1, winning ten of the last 11 games of the match. Sakkari served eight aces throughout the match. In addition to her serve, her fitness also played a role in her winning the final, as Konta appeared to be out of gas towards the end of the match. It should be noted that Sakkari won four relatively quick matches in straight sets to reach the final, while Konta won three of her four previous matches in Rabat in three long sets, and the Brit also played two rounds of doubles this week.
With the win, Sakkari becomes the first Greek player in 11 years to capture a WTA tournament title, and just the second Greek to ever win one. Eleni Daniilidou was the only other Greek woman to win a WTA title, as she won five WTA tournaments between 2002 and 2008. Two other Greek women had reached finals in their careers but failed to win them, including Sakkari’s mother Angeliki Kanellopoulou, as well as Christina Papadaki.
Sakkari came into this tournament ranked 51 in the world, her lowest ranking since March 2018. She will now gain 280 ranking points after winning the title in Morocco and will move up to number 39 in the world. Konta, who was ranked number four in the world back in 2017, will move up from 47 to 41 when the new rankings are released on Monday.
by Andrew Stamas
*For more sports head to AGONASport