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Sakkari showed character and passed to the third round of the Australian Open

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Maria Sakkari did not have a good day against 18-year-old Russian player, Diana Shnaider, who made life difficult for her, but the Greek player showed character and won with an upset, to qualify for the third round of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

The Greek tennis player got into trouble, but she avoided the worst, coming back from a set down to beat Diana Shnaider 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, securing a ticket to the round of 32 at the Australian Open.

It will be the fourth time in the last five years that Sakkari will be in the “32” best of the Australian Grand Slam, having had her best runs in 2020 and 2022, when she reached the 16th.

Although Sakkari did not play her best tennis today, finishing the match with 32 winners and 40 unforced errors, she proved once again that she is not a Top 10 player by chance and when she found herself in a difficult position she coped with her mission to reach the upset against the talented Russian tennis player, who had nothing to lose and risked a lot in her shots.

The first set would have been different if Sakkari didn’t make such a bad start from the service line. In particular, the leading Greek tennis player of all time lost a lead of 40-0 in her first service game and suffered the break, as a result of which she fell behind 3-0.

The 18-year-old Shnaider served very well throughout the set and managed to win it 6-3. In the last game, it took 13 minutes, with Sakkari pressing and having 3 break points for 5-4. Finally, the Russian reached 6-3 in her fifth set point and put the No.6 player on the board in a difficult position.

Sakkari responded with a quick break in the second set, leading 3-0 and 4-1. The game took a wild beauty, with Shnaider reducing to 4-3 and Sakkari breaking again for 5-3. 

Maria Sakkari

The 18-year-old got the break back again for 5-4 and in the next game she erased 3 set points in a row from 4-5, 0-40, to hold her serve and tie it at 5-5. Sakkari did not lose her composure and concentration, winning 8 of the next 10 points and finally winning the set 7-5.

Sakkari continued to be significantly better than Shnaider in the 3rd set as well, although she also faced problems from the service line. In particular, the Greek player led 3-1 and suffered a break for 3-2. He immediately regained control, making it 4-2 with a new break and later 5-2 with a love service game.

In the sixth game, Shnaider erased 2 match points on her serve to finally reduce to 5-3, Sakkari, however, was not deterred and came back from 0-30 in the next game, to win 4 points in a row and make it 6- 3, finishing the match in 2 hours and 33 minutes.

In the third round of the Australian Open, Sakkari will face either Jil Teichmann, No.32 on the board, or Lin Zhu.

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