Maria Sakkari was ready to swap her tennis racket for track spikes

Maria Sakkari

Maria Sakkari

Greece's tennis star Maria Sakkari revealed that she was so desperate for competition during the Covid-19 shutdown, that she considered running in the 100m at the national athletics championships.

The young star is seeded third at the 31st edition of the WTA Palermo Ladies Open, which marks the official restart of professional after a five-month pause due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“If the Tour was cancelled I was going to compete in the 100m track and field event at the National Championships,” Sakkari told reporters in the Sicilian capital.

“Greece National Championships starts on Aug. 8. We were kind of joking with my fitness coach, but inside of me I really needed competition. There were rumours going around that the Tour would get cancelled so I thought if the Tour gets cancelled I need to find something. I’m fast, I knew I was not going to win it for sure because I’m not a professional. But yeah, I was thinking of doing that," she added.

"[I can run a] 12.7 without spikes or starting blocks. My fitness coach, who is a track and field specialist, said that if I trained I could probably make the final."

Sakkari is scheduled to play in Monday’s final match at Palermo against Czech Kristyna Pliskova.

Earlier this year, Greece’s young tennis star reached a new career-high WTA ranking of number 20 in the world, becoming just the second Greek female tennis player to ever break into the top 20.

*Image by Nick Bourdaniotis/Bourdo Photography (Copyright)