On September 23, Second seed Sakkari defied everybody’s expectations, including her own, when she defeated Caroline Dolehide, 7-5, 6-3, and won her second WTA title after four long years.

It was only last month when Sakkari lost in the first round of the US Open to a Swiss-born Spanish player, Rebeka Masarova, resulting in her early exit from the tournament and a loss of confidence. At her post-match press conference, the former world number three tennis player was unable to contain her emotions and burst into tears in front of the assembled press. She then covered her face in her hands for a few moments before displaying the tears that had apparently been building up since her devastating loss.

She then expressed her desire to take a break from the court.

“Maybe I should take a break, I’m suffering on the court. I can’t make a decision now, it’s hard. I don’t have a clear mind.”, Sakkari said. “I was ashamed to be seen like that. I was embarrassed, it was also my sister’s birthday. I felt bad, I feel like I’m embarrassing them.”

Maria Sakkari and WTA Finals

Akin to a phoenix, Sakkari rose from the ashes and was reborn on the Mexican ground. She defeated Dolehide at the Guadalajara Open AKRON with a 7-5, 6-3 victory and claimed her first WTA 1000 title and second overall after four years.

In her speech, Sakkari congratulated her opponent, Dolehide, first and commended her for all the hard work and training she went through.

“First of all I want to congratulate Caroline. I’ve known you for many years. You’ve put in the work as you said with your coach and your team,” Sakkari said.

“I always knew you had an amazing game. It was about time for it to click. It happened this week, and you have so many more opportunities to come up and this is just the beginning, as you said.”

At the end of her speech, Sakkari also thanked her coach, who had been with her for five years.

“We waited for more than four years for a second title. We’ve heard so many, you know, many bad things, that I will never win a title, that I’m a top 5 player but with only winning one title. That was very hard for me to overcome, and I’m so happy I did it here this week.

She also revealed to a WTA insider from the Mexican city of Guadalajara that right after she broke down at the US Open press conference, she received an unexpected outpouring of support from her peers and supporters.

“A lot of players really felt for me,” Sakkari said. “I cannot describe in words the amount of love and support I got. … That was the main reason I kept going.”

Read More News

Who will call today’s Patriots-Jets football game on CBS? The coverage crew for the NFL’s Week 3 game in full

The photo above is from a YouTube screenshot