'I Couldn't Breathe': Sakkari Speaks Bravely About Struggles With Panic Attacks

'I Couldn't Breathe': Sakkari Speaks Bravely About Struggles With Panic Attacks

by Jordan Reynolds

Maria Sakkari is one of the players featured in the Netflix series Break Point, and she has opened up about the struggles she's endured during her tennis career.

Sakkari is one of the WTA players who recently discovered her Australian Open draw, but no player at the tournament can stop Iga Swiatek from remaining world no. 1. In her first match, the Greek is set to meet the Japanese player Nao Hibino in Melbourne.

Last year's Guadalajara champion began her season at the United Cup, representing Team Greece and reaching the quarterfinal of the event. Sakkari will be hoping to start 2024 as strongly as possible after experiencing a varied 2023 season.

The 28-year-old had great moments last year, such as that win in Guadalajara. However, she also experienced many tough early-round losses, which created some unwanted attention.

Sakkari has now discussed on Break Point just how hard she was finding that period, with her mental health suffering after her tough results.

"I was not ready for it.... Then I just started getting all these panic attacks, and there were just matches that I couldn't breathe."

Sakkari on struggles and panic attacks

The Greek no.1 is courageous for speaking so candidly about such issues. It now explains why she was struggling so much and, hopefully, makes those who criticized her harshly reflect on their actions.

Sakkari elaborated further about just how bad she was feeling on court at that time.

"I thought I was going to faint and it wasn't a pleasant feeling. I was in a dark place for six months, I was just mentally and emotionally empty."

Sakkari on feeling she was going to faint 

The French Open semifinalist then said how she overcame those issues with the help of her psychologist.

"I just gave time to myself and went back to basics. I started working with my psychologist. She really, really, helped me not to focus on negative things."

Sakkari on help of psychologist

The Break Point series has received criticism, with many fans angry that Alexander Zverev is featured due to the allegations surrounding him. However, the series does give a good insight into the minds of players, and this is another example of that.


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