Sakkari had thumped third seed Caroline Garcia 6-3, 6-0 to reach her second WTA final of the season. Her victory lap featured a show of appreciation for the fans' support where Sakkari unleashed tennis balls into the stands.
In one instance, the Greek totally miscalculated her shot and fired the ball outside the stadium. A bemused Sakkari cracked a smile just when the ball veered out of control. The crowd who noticed it burst into laughter. It was perhaps the only stain of what has been a perfect week for the World No. 9.
The 2023 Guadalajara Open has been overshadowed by the absence of top-ranked players, including the world's Top 5. But that hasn't dampened the fans' mood, who have turned out in large numbers, especially for the night sessions.
Sakkari called it 'special' playing in front of them and was almost in tears during her post-match interview when she acknowledged the crowd's support.
"I feel like I keep saying the same thing every day, but it's just very helpful. It's just something that I really appreciate. I really am very grateful that I come here every year and the support is more every year I come. I just really enjoy my time here. It's very special."
Sakkari will be the overwhelming favorite to end her trophy drought when she faces World No. 111 Caroline Dolehide who has produced one of the most improbable runs at a WTA 1000 in recent memory. Dolehide, an American from the state of Illinois, defeated Sofia Kenin to reach her first WTA final.
It will be a first-ever career meeting between the two of them who will vie to win 900 points and a paycheck amounting to $454,000, granted to the champion.