HomeSportsGreeceMaria Sakkari on staying humble and "gender discrimination" in sport

Maria Sakkari on staying humble and “gender discrimination” in sport




“People, when we achieve something big, we forget the small. But these are the most important,” Greek tennis player, Maria Sakkari, says in an interview with ELLE Greece, reminding us once again that apart from being a great athlete, she is also a simple, completely down-to-earth girl.

Sakkari, who is now ranked among the 20 best in the world, comes from a family of famous tennis players. Her grandfather played in the Davis Cup and her mother, Angeliki Kanellopoulou, reached a career-high position of No. 43 in the world.

The 25-year-old herself first picked up a racket at the Athens Lawn Tennis Club.

Maria Sakkari, who is now ranked among the 20 best in the world, comes from a family of famous tennis players. Photo: ELLE magazine / Dimitris Skoulos.

“My mother didn’t want any of her children to play tennis. She knew that you have to sacrifice a lot to play tennis. She didn’t want us to suffer,” Sakkari says.

“I actually started playing tennis because my brother was playing. I really liked it and then I asked my mum if I could play more. I started playing with my grandfather and I was like: ‘I want to play every day’.”

Sakkari did not play in many junior tournaments, but started competing in ITF events from the age of 15. Having broken into the world’s top 100 in 2016, Sakkari made the top 50 in 2017 and the top 30 in 2018.

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Η κορυφαία τενίστρια Μαρία Σάκκαρη (@sakkattack7 ) είναι το cover girl του ELLE Σεπτεμβρίου που κυκλοφορεί από 7/08 στα περίπτερα όλης της χώρας. Λίγο πριν επιστρέψει στις αγωνιστικές της υποχρεώσεις στα τερέν, η Ελληνίδα τενίστρια που συγκαταλέγεται πλέον στις 20 καλύτερες του κόσμου, φωτογραφήθηκε αποκλειστικά για το εξώφυλλο του νέου ELLE Σεπτεμβρίου. Η εντυπωσιακή φωτογράφιση πραγματοποιήθηκε με φόντο τα μαγευτικά χρώματα της Αθηναϊκής Ριβιέρας, στο πολυτελές @astirpalace υπό τις οδηγίες του φωτογράφου Δημήτρη Σκουλού (@skoulos ). Η Μαρία Σάκκαρη, αφού πόζαρε με άνεση κάτω από τον καυτό ήλιο, έκανε μια ενδιαφέρουσα συζήτηση με τη διευθύντρια σύνταξης του ELLE Μαρία Πατούχα (@maria_patoucha ) για το εντυπωσιακό ταξίδι της στον χώρο του τένις, τα όνειρά της αλλά και για όλα αυτά τα μικρά πράγματα που, τελικά, είναι και τα πιο σημαντικά στη ζωή. Όλα αυτά στο νέο ELLE που δεν πρέπει να χασεις. 🤩 Styling: @vita_pi @georgia_klissoura #ellegreece #newissue #september #mariasakkari #ellemagazine

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One year later, in 2019, the Greek climbed to a career-high 20th after reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open – her best result at a Grand Slam.

How was she able to accomplish so much in such a short amount of time? It’s clear Sakkari is a woman who fights back in a tough and highly competitive space.

“I believe that women athletes should try in every way to support other women, because in sports we also experience gender discrimination,” she says.

A powerful message from a tennis player who’s star only continues to grow.

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