Maria Sakkari suffered a heavy defeat against Sorana Cirstea at the Abu Dhabi Open

Sorana Cirstea easily beats Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-1 to reach her first QFs since the US Open in Abu Dhabi.

Greek third seed beaten 6-2, 6-1 in just 77 minutes on Stadium Court

Maria Sakkari’s hopes of another deep run in Abu Dhabi were dashed at the first hurdle on Wednesday after Sorana Cirstea convincingly beat the Greek third seed.

In an error-strewn performance, Sakkari fell to a 6-2, 6-1 defeat in a match lasting just 77 minutes. It adds to a difficult few weeks for the world No 9, who lost in the second round of the Australian Open having started the season well with three wins for Greece at the United Cup team event.

Sakkari never got going on Stadium Court and found herself 4-0 down before getting her first game on the board.

The second set was similarly one-sided as Romania’s Cirstea dominated and took full advantage of Sakkari’s struggles, breaking her opponent three times to wrap up a swift victory.

It was in sharp contrast to Sakkari’s previous visit to the city, when in 2021 at the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open, she beat the likes of Coco Gauff, Garbine Muguruza, and Sofia Kenin en route to the semi-finals.

Cirstea, who fought back to beat former world No 4 Carolina Garcia in the first round, will take on Daria Kasatkina in the quarter-finals after the Russian seventh seed advanced from her match against American teenager Ashlyn Krueger 6-3, 7-5.

If Cirstea’s win over Sakkari was quick and breezy, the exact opposite was the case in the match immediately prior. Brazilian sixth seed Beatriz Haddad Maia required just 15 minutes short of four hours to secure her 7-6, 6-7, 6-1 victory over Poland’s Magda Linette.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024