World No.22 Maria Sakkari has confirmed her place in the round of 16 at the Abu Dhabi WTA Women’s Tennis Open 2021 after a straight-set victory against American rising star Coco Gauff.
However, the 9th seed Greek will now face the former World No.1 Garbine Muguruza for a quarter-final place. Earlier, the 5th seed Spaniard outlasted Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus without losing a set in her fixture on Saturday.
When speaking about her upcoming encounter in a post-match interview, Maria Sakkari said it would be very tough. The 25-years-old Greek also praised her next round opponent, none other than two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza.
“We all know (Muguruza is) a great champion, she’s won a couple of majors,” said Sakkari. “She has been a very good player all these years,” she added.
“I’m Really Looking Forward To Playing Her(Muguruza), To Be Honest”, Maria Sakkari
It will be the first time Sakkari and Muguruza face each other in their careers, but they have trained together once. Greek also emphasised that Abu Dhabi’s new WTA tournament quick courts suit well for Spaniard.
Sakkari continued, “We’ve never played each other, we’ve practised just once. I haven’t experienced her in a match, but it will be very tough because I think the court suits her well, fast surface. I’m really looking forward to playing her, to be honest.”
At the 2020 Middle East swing, Garbine Muguruza reached quarter-finals at the Dubai Tennis Championship and Qatar Open while Maria Sakkari lost at the opening round and pre-quarterfinal.
Even though both of them booked their round of 16 places without losing a set, there is little advantage for experienced Garbine Muguruza.