Maria Sakkari took down Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-4 in their US Open quarter-final on Wednesday. The Greek needed just an hour and 22 minutes to complete her upset over the second-highest seed in the draw.
Sakkari was impenetrable on her serve and constantly kept up the pressure on Pliskova who, as it turned out, was unable to prolong the match long enough to turn the tide. Sakkari put in just 53% of her first serves with Pliskova putting in 61%. But she won 92% of her first-serve points as compared to her fourth-seeded opponent’s 69%. In terms of second-serve points, while the Czech could only manage to win 48% of her second-serve points, the 17th seed won a high 74%.
Throughout the match, Sakkari didn’t face a single break point. Although she converted only two break points of the five, she faced, it was far too many for her opponent, who was attempting to reach her second final at Flushing Meadows.
Sakkari hit 23 winners to Pliskova’s 14 and had merely 12 unforced errors while Pliskova racked up 20 of those. Sakkari finished the match with 66 points to Pliskova’s 47.
US Open: Maria Sakkari’s path-breaking season continues
Speaking after her win, an exuberant Sakkari shared, “I think I’m at the best age of my career. I’m more mature than before. As I said many times, I think every single player has a different timing of breaking through. Now it’s probably my time at the age of 26. I came in late to the tour. I was not a good junior. I was not a star when I was 18 or 19 years old. I had to work and sacrifice a lot from my life. But it’s now paying off and I’m very happy that at the age of 26 I can actually achieve these results.”
In the semi-final, Maria Sakkari will take on Emma Raducanu. This is the second Grand Slam semi-final of her career, following her debut in the last four of a Major at the 2021 French Open. Meanwhile, Karolina Pliskova was the last remaining US Open finalist in the draw. Her exit thus ensured that all four contenders will be playing the semis in New York City for the first time in their careers.
Photo Credit: Darren Carroll/USTA