Published On: Thu, Jul 4th, 2024
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Maria Sakkari sends stern reminder to Emma Raducanu as she eyes Wimbledon revenge | Tennis | Sport

Maria Sakkari has reminded Emma Raducanu that she is facing a “top-10 player” before the Greek No.1 seeks revenge for her US Open semi-final defeat at Wimbledon.

Raducanu was ranked world No.150 when she beat then world No.18 Sakkari 6-1 6-4 in New York on her way to her shock Major triumph.

The Bromley-based star is now back up to world No.135 after a solid start to the grasscourt season.

Sakkari is up to world No.9 but has never got beyond the third round at Wimbledon in her previous seven appearances.

And the Greek said: “I think the opportunity is for both. She’s also playing a top-10 player. Let’s not forget that. She’s an unbelievable player. She’s very talented. She’s very promising. Even after winning a Grand Slam, she’s still very young.

“Obviously, she’s going to be the favourite because she’ll be playing home. If anything, that’s normal. But I’m excited. It’s another challenge. That’s why we play tennis. That’s what we play for. It’s going to be pretty exciting. I’m pumped.”

Sakkari claimed her semi-final defeat to Barbora Krejcikova at the French Open earlier in 2021 had been harder to take than her US Open run. “It’s not like it’s not the best memories because I still had a good run,” she said. “Obviously it was meant to be, I think, that week. It was written in the stars for her, and she took that opportunity. That’s always going to stay there.

“It’s amazing that she can – whenever she’s done with tennis, even if she doesn’t win anything else as big as that one, it’s something that happens once every probably 100, even more than 100 times.

“It’s a very proud moment for her and for her country, and it was a great memory. It’s not like my loss at the French Open. It hurt me more than that one.”

Asked to recall her only previous meeting with Sakkari – her ninth win of a remarkable three weeks in New York – Raducanu said: “I think it was in the semis of the US Open. Circumstances are different. Like, in a third round compared to a semifinal. At the time the dynamics were also different. I was an unknown player, pretty much. I’m expecting a really tough match. She’s,, I don’t know, top 10 or something. It’s going to be a really difficult one.

“Again, it’s going to be one where I’m the complete underdog and I can just enjoy playing in my home crowd, home Slam. Just keep having fun and trying to stay an extra day.”

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