Maria Sakkari Reflects On 'Toughest Season' Of Career After WTA Finals Exit

Maria Sakkari Reflects On 'Toughest Season' Of Career After WTA Finals Exit

by Alex Waite

Last updated

Maria Sakkari believes 2023 has been one of her most challenging seasons so far, following inconsistent performances throughout the campaign.

Sakkari's 2023 season ended with a disappointing WTA Finals defeat to Jessica Pegula. The Greek player was comfortably beaten 6-3, 6-2 by Pegula in a match that lasted just over an hour, and it followed a loss against Elena Rybakina and a 6-0,6-1 defeat to Aryna Sabalenka.

Despite some patchy form in 2023, which led to just two victories at the four Grand Slams and an overall record of 38 wins and 25 defeats, Sakkari managed to finish in the WTA top 10 for a third consecutive season.

However, when reflecting on the past ten months after her defeat to Pegula, the 28-year-old said she had mixed feelings.

"I really believe this was the toughest season of my career,”

“I don’t want to be hard on myself. I’m very proud of myself that I managed to finish in the top 10 for the third time in a row. I don’t know how I did it. I’m being deadly honest. After the US Open, I was probably around number 20 in the race. It’s just proof to myself that I can make things happen.”

Now, Sakkari will head into the post-season before heading back to training before the 2024 campaign. But, rather than holding on to the negativity of a patchy 2023, the Greek star is already ready to put some hard work in with her team before the next campaign kicks off in January 2024.

"I also need to push hard in pre-season because there are players out there who’ve taken it to another level. For me to get back to the top three, I need to take it one step further.”

"The good thing is that everyone on my team is on board. We’re gonna make changes. We’re gonna make steps and try. I’m not saying it’s gonna happen for sure. But try to get to the top level of the game again. Coming into the (WTA) finals, I wasn’t well prepared. I don’t feel physically fit or as fit as I should be. When I don’t move well and I’m not intense or energized, I cannot play my best tennis. But I’m very proud of the season I had.”


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