Maria Sakkari has powered through to the fourth round of the French Open after claiming a hard-fought victory over Belgium’s Elise Mertens on Saturday.
The Greek champion prevailed 7-5, 6-7 (2), 6- 2 in a nearly three-hour contest and broke a personal record making it to the 16 of Roland Garros’ best players for the first time in her career.
This is also the third time she reaches the second week of a major.
“I think it was one of my best matches I have played in a long time, this year as well,” said the World no. 17 facing the press at the post-match conference.
“Elise played extremely well, I think. She never gave up. I think I just played probably the right way when I had to. I gave myself a better chance today. I just took the chances, especially in the third set.”
The 25-year-old was also quick to praise her upcoming opponent for Monday, American Sofia Kenin.
The last year’s finalist also made it to the fourth round following a tough three-set battle prevailing over her compatriot Jessica Pegula.
“[Kenin] played the final here last year, so she’s playing good here, for sure,” Sakkari commented.
“You know, you don’t get easy opponents in these rounds of a Slam.”
On Friday night, Stefanos Tsitsipas also advanced to the fourth round by winning his 36th match of the year, the most of anyone on the men’s tour.