How Coco Gauff Inspired Maria Sakkari To End Her Four-Year Title Drought

How Coco Gauff Inspired Maria Sakkari To End Her Four-Year Title Drought

by Sebastian Dahlman

Maria Sakkari developed a reputation for losing in the WTA finals, but she finally got rid of it at the 2023 Guadalajara Open on Saturday.

Sakkari played in several finals in her career but didn't win many trophies. She actually only won one before Saturday, and it happened a very long time ago four years precisely. The reputation of losing big matches followed her around because of her track record, but she's now finally exorcised it.

It's been a long road, lots of disappointment and tears, but eventually she got there. Something Coco Gauff recently said resonated with Sakkari, who broke down in tears after her US Open exit. She spoke about it after the win in Guadalajara.

I really liked what Coco [Gauff] said at the US Open, about how other people have bigger problems than we have when we lose a tennis match, and she's spot on. I kept thinking about that, and that gave me strength. At the end of the day, it's just a tennis match. I'm healthy, and that's the most important thing.

 Everyone around me, my family, are happy and healthy. Those are the things that I took some time to think about, to remember what's important in life. Everyone focuses on their own problems, whether they are big, small, important or not important. You forget what's going on in the rest of the world.

It's a really nice perspective to have for any player, and it paid off well for Sakkari. We'll see whether this trophy finally unleashes her as a player and she wins a couple more. This event was a specific one, it didn't feature the strongest of fields, and her opponent in the final wasn't one she'd generally expect to face.

All of that contributed to her winning but it wasn't a win purely out of luck. She earned it.


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