World No. 21 Maria Sakkari has beaten former World Champion Serena Williams after a thrilling match in the USA Cincinnati Masters.
Williams started off the match in usually fiery form, building a 5-2 lead in the opening set without facing a break point on her serve. After finally gaining her rhythm on the court, the Greek tied the match at 5-all. Williams managed to take the final two games and grasp the first set.
The second set saw both competitors battle intensely, with Serena Williams on the upward path from her victory last set. Sakkari was left behind at 5-3, yet Williams wasn’t able to seal the deal and instead allowed Sakkari to bring the momentum to her favour.
Sakkari brought the pair to 5-all, with the two women entering a deuce before Sakkari sent the match into a tiebreak. After losing four of the first five points, the Greek queen of comebacks managed to bring the tie-breaker to 4-all. Serena took the next point but suffered a four-point swing which saw Sakkari run past for the 7-5 tiebreak victory.
As the final set began, it was clear that Sakkari looked ready to proceed to the next stage of the competition. The Greek World No. 21 took every game confidently until the second-to-last game, which saw the pair engage in a 7 deuce battle, with Williams taking her first game of the set.
Sakkari still managed to take home the final point however, winning the final set 6-1. Full Score: 5-7, 7(7)-6(5), 6-1.
This convincing victory against one of the world’s best has made the Greek into one of the most dangerous competitors of the game.