The Greek warrior continues to impress in this Miami tournament and will try to knock off Naomi Osaka who is the player to beat at the moment. Maria Sakkari said in an interview "that after the two weeks in Australia, stuck in the bubble, having lost a little bit of my identity, which is being aggressive, but also holding the ball and playing physical matches." She is described by her coach Tom Hill as someone who is never satisfied with what she does. Her coach has thoroughly enjoyed working with her on a daily basis for two years now, as she is always challenging herself to do better. She's a real hard worker who wanted to get back on track after a dry spell between Australia and the Middle East tour: "So after Dubai, we spent a lot of time on the court, to be honest. " All this work is felt on the courts of Miami, We find a player more aggressive and enterprising as in her eighth final. A physical battle that saw the Greek very often on the initiative in the game. Even more so when she had her back to the wall and played her luck to the hilt to eliminate 6 match points. Her serve is becoming a real weapon at the beginning of the season thanks to a lot of work on her explosiveness in her legs. Her statistics speak for themselves: 62.3% of points won on her first shots in 2020 versus 69.7% in 2021, and 2.96 aces per match in 2020 versus 4.86 in 2021. This is a great asset for a player of small stature who can clearly compete on serve. Just as her hitting power and physical qualities will be important in this quarter-final. She will meet Naomi Osaka who keeps on winning (23 straight wins in official matches). The Japanese had a not so simple first round against a brave Tomljanovic, but that allowed her to launch her tournament. She was able to unravel against Elise Mertens in the round of 16 with a game that was always powerful. She is in the running for the number 1 spot in the world if she wins this tournament. She has really grown since the 2020 US Open with a real affirmation of her status as a top seed. Her collaboration with Wim Fissette, a coach who has done great things with great players in the past like Victoira Azarenka, Kim Clijsters, Simona Halep or Angelique Kerber, is working really well. Four players who have reached the rank of world No. 1. This is the fifth meeting between the two players. So far, three meetings have ended in three sets and Sakkari has always taken at least one set (3 losses to 1 win). In this match, Osaka is the clear favorite. However, Maria Sakkari will not come to the court to make a show. She has evolved a lot since Australia, she has everything to compete with her quality of service and her aggressiveness in the return really impressive. Her quality of return was very impressive against Pegula where she put a lot of commitment and desire on the American's second balls. This match will be a real test for the Japanese who will have to be solid and tighten the game against a player who is ready both physically and tennis-wise. Her opponent of the day will do everything to beat her and she has the weapons to create the feat.
The opinion of the editors ⭐️⭐️ 1 set Sakkari ⭐️ Victory Sakkari
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