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Maria Sakkari snags last semifinal berth at WTA Finals

Oct 9, 2021; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Maria Sakkari (GRE) reacts after losing a point against Viktorija Golubic (SUI) at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 9, 2021; Indian Wells, CA, USA; Maria Sakkari (GRE) reacts after losing a point against Viktorija Golubic (SUI) at Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Maria Sakkari surged to win the final four games against top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka on Monday and advance to the semifinals of the WTA Finals.

The fourth-seeded Greek player, making her debut in the event, beat her Belarusian opponent 7-6 (1), 6-7, 6-3 to complete the group play at Guadalajara, Mexico.

Sakkari wound up 2-1 in the round-robin phase of the event while Sabalenka went 1-2.

Up next for Sakkari is a semifinal matchup against No. 8 Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, who won two of three matches in the other first-round group.

In a Monday match that had no impact on who would advance, already-eliminated Iga Swiatek upset semifinal-bound Paula Badosa 7-5, 6-4.

Swiatek, a Polish player who was seeded fifth, finished with a 1-2 record in group play. Badosa, a Spanish player who was seeded seventh, went 2-1, with the lone defeat coming on her 24th birthday.

Swiatek, 20, said, “I think it was a really solid match from me. I’m pretty happy that I had a chance to show my tennis finally, overcome all these factors around, just play the game.

“For sure this tournament was special. Playing three days with such high-quality players, it’s hard. I hope my next time is going to be a little bit more lucky for me”.

Badosa admitted she was already focused on her upcoming semifinal matchup with Spanish compatriot Garbine Muguruza, the sixth seed.

“I think it’s amazing to have two Spanish players (in the final four),” Badosa said. “For me it was already a dream to be here, so you can imagine how I feel to play the semifinals and against her.”

–Field Level Media