Maria Sakkari broke a string of semifinal losses and moved into her first WTA singles final in over two years, knocking out No.1 seed Iga Swiatek of Poland, 6-4, 7-5, in the J&T Banka Ostrava Open semifinals on Saturday.
No.4 seed Sakkari had lost her last nine WTA semifinals, dating back to May 2019, when she won her lone title to date on the clay courts of Rabat. Meanwhile, Swiatek had never lost a tour-level semifinal and was 2-0 in that particular round in 2021.
But Sakkari was determined to upend those bellwethers, and she did so with a 1-hour and 51-minute victory over the top seed. By reaching the final, Sakkari outpaces her showing in last year’s inaugural Ostrava event, where she fell in the semifinals to Victoria Azarenka.