On the back of ‘Break Point’ premiere, Sakkari rolls in Australian Open Round 1


A little bit of early trouble was no problem for Maria Sakkari at Melbourne Park on Monday.

The No.6 seed hit 38 winners to largely roll in a 6-1, 6-4 opening win over China’s Yuan Yue to kick off her eighth Australian Open campaign in 94 minutes. She came from 3-1 down in the second set. 

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Sakkari, who’s reached the fourth round at the Australian Open twice, is now 22-6 in her career in Grand Slam first-round matches. 

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Tale of the tape: Sakkari struck 15 winners to Yuan’s three in a first set that lasted 36 minutes, but the Chinese player put a stronger fight in the second set to extend her Australian Open main-draw debut. 

She hit five winners in the first two games, including an ace, to lead 2-0. She also had a point to lead 4-1 before Sakkari broke back, getting the set back on serve. Sakkari won five of the last six games to wrap up the match.

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Up next: Sakkari will next face another first-time Australian Open competitor in Round 2, qualifier Diana Shnaider. The 18-year-old left-hander battled for a 7-6(6), 7-5 win over Kristina Kucova for her first-ever Grand Slam main-draw victory. 

A former World No.2 in juniors, Shnaider is a three-time junior Grand Slam doubles champion. 

More to come…



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