Maria Sakkari speaks on facing Daria Kasatkina in Berlin

World No. 6 Maria Sakkari thought staying focused was the key behind her win over Daria Saville and added she expects another tough battle when she meets Daria Kasatkina in the Berlin quarterfinal. 

On Wednesday, second-seeded Sakkari overcame Sakkari 6-1 7-5 to progress into the Berlin quarterfinal. 

The two players were tied at one game apiece, before Sakkari claimed back-to-back breaks and won five games in a row to win the first set in style. 

After winning the first set, Sakkari earned the first break of the second set in the fifth game to open a 3-2 lead. 

However, Saville refused to quit, breaking back Sakkari in the sixth game.

Blowing an early second set break didn’t impact Sakkari, who broke Saville again in the 11th game for a 6-5 lead, before serving out for the match in the following game. 

Sakkari on beating Saville, facing Kasatkina

“I think the first set was almost perfect for me,” Sakkari said, per the WTA website. “Not many unforced errors, I was very aggressive, I was serving really well. I think that [Saville] stepped up her game, she started playing better. It was a very close second set. I stayed focused when I had to, and I’m very glad with the way I played.”

Next up for Sakkari will be a fourth career meeting versus Kasatkina. 

Kasatkina is a very difficult opponent for Sakkari as the Greek has never beaten the Russian. 

However, this will be their first meeting on grass. 

A month ago in Madrid, Kasatkina recovered from a set down to beat Sakkari. 

“In Madrid, [Kasatkina] played a very good game,” Sakkari said. “I was up a set, I had my chances, but I didn’t take them. She’s a fighter, she’s been on tour for a while even though she’s very young, so I’m expecting a very tough match. She’s going to bring out a lot of energy, a good fight, and I’m ready for it.”