NEW HAVEN, CT – Watch out Pete Sampras. There is a new Greek tennis star in town. and she is charismatic and poised. She is Maria Sakkari from Athens and is already no. 31 in the world.
The fast serving, power hitter burst onto the tennis scene in 2015, with her Grand Slam debut at the US Open.
Since then she has reached the third round of the Australian Open in 2017 and the third round of the French Open, this year.
Sakkari was in the main draw of the prestigious CT. Open this week and despite hitting more winners, fell to up and comer Zarina Diyas of Kazahk, 6-4,6-3 before the adoring eyes of a throng of Greek fans in the Stadium.
Diyas had won 3 consecutive matches over the weekend in the qualifying rounds to make it into the main draw and was more match ready than Sakkari.
Diyas won the first set quickly, but Sakkari took a 2-0,40-0 lead in the second set, only to drop 4 of the last 5 games. She was in no mood for chatter after the match, her final tune-up before the US Open, which starts next week in Flushing Meadows.
Sakkari is coached by veteran player Thomas Johansson, who paid 2 coaching visits to Sakkari, during her New Haven loss.
The CT. Open continues Tuesday with day and night sessions.