“A Rookie Mistake”: Maria Sakkari Opens Up on What Cost Her the French Open 2021 SF Loss

Greek World No. 18 Maria Sakkari lost a hard-fought battle against unseeded Czech professional Barbora Krejcikova 5-7, 6-4, 7-9 in the French Open 2021 semifinal. What hurt her most is that she gave away a match point before losing a spot in the final.

At 5-3 in the third set, Sakkari served for the win but found her nerves all over the place. In response, Krejcikova saved the match point with a backhand volley, retrieved her break, and went on to a 5-6 lead in the decider.

Saving her fourth match point at 7-8, the Greek hit a forehand which Krejcikova thought was long, and began celebrating. However, the chair umpire called it in, whereas the Hawkeye later showed it was 18 millimeters out.

Barbora Krejcikova
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 10, 2021 Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova remonstartes with official during her semi final match against Greece’s Maria Sakkari REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

Despite the lucky favor, Sakkari ran out of chances as the World No. 33 converted her fifth match point with a backhand down the line after three hours and 18 minutes. Notably, it was the longest women’s singles semifinal at Roland-Garros and a hard-to-forget night for the Greek.

Read More: DRAMA! Andy Murray, Chris Evert, and Tennis Community Stunned as Umpire Steals Match Point From Barbora Krejcikova

Maria Sakkari shattered after scraping match point in French Open 2021 semifinal

In the post-match interview, Sakkari accepted that she took a step back on the match point instead of putting it forward. Moreover, she will now consider the loss as a lesson for the future.

“I got stressed on the match point; I was passive. It’s a rookie mistake. I didn’t go for it. I was a little bit defensive in the big points. Good thing is that I learned from it. It’s human emotion,” Sakkari said.

The realization of losing the match from one point close hit her hard. Although she wanted to go back and do everything right, she had missed that chance forever.

“Today’s loss hurts a lot. I was so close, one point away. I would do things differently now, but it’s too late,” the Greek added.

Maria Sakkari
Tennis – French Open – Roland Garros, Paris, France – June 10, 2021 Greece’s Maria Sakkari leaves court after losing her semi final match against Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

Conclusively, Sakkari agreed that mental strength plays a vital role in the big moments in tennis. But despite making her best Grand Slam run, she felt disappointed on the chance lost.

“When I was serving for the match, I thought I was very close to the final. I have to find a way to trick my mind and not to do that again. It’s hard to express how bad I’m feeling right now. Even if it was a good run, I’m disappointed not to play the final,” Sakkari concluded.

Barbora Krejcikova and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova will play for the French Open 2021 women’s singles title. It will be a maiden Grand Slam title for either of them. Who are you supporting?

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