Maria Sakkari, the world No. 7, has achieved history by becoming the first Greek woman to qualify for the WTA Finals.
Sakkari was leading 6-0 1-0 when Anna Kalinskaya retired their round-of-16 match in Moscow on Thursday. Sakkari has secured a spot in the WTA Finals after winning 100 points in Moscow.
She has yet to win a championship this season, but she has been remarkably consistent, reaching the Grand Slam semifinals in the French Open and the US Open, respectively.
Maria Sakkari recently stated that one of her main aims is to reach the WTA Finals.
“It would sound crazy and stupid if I said that I’m not motivated because I’m trying to achieve one of the biggest goals of my career, for the first time, which is the WTA Finals,
“And I’m more motivated than I was in the first week of the year, because, yes, it is the end of the season and I know that other players are tired, and I know that other players don’t have that goal,” Sakkari said as per reports on TennisHead.
Sakkari surprised herself
Sakkari acknowledged that she didn’t think she’d be able to compete for a WTA Finals spot at the start of the year.
“I cannot imagine myself being in that position at the beginning of the year,” she said.
“It’s great to be in that position. I really like the challenge and I really enjoy that I actually have a chance, because, yes, it might sound crazy for someone that has played the finals a couple of times or three or four times, maybe their motivation is not as high as it is for me, because let’s be real it’s my first time and it’s a goal,
“It’s something big for a tennis player, it is one of the best tournaments in the world and it is only eight players that get to play it.
“It’s been a very successful year for me, and I know that I can finish the year strong for sure.”