Match Recap from Announcer Andy Taylor, Voice of the Qatar Total Open
Maria Sakkari advances to Round-2
Hell of a day for Maria Sakkari. Before breakfast, she learned that she’s now a top-20 player. This afternoon, she defeated Julia Görges for the first time in 4-years. It was her first victory in Doha. During her Qatar Total Open debut 2-years-ago, Maria fell to Sorana Cirstea in the opening round.
Sakkari’s putting up solid results this year. In Melbourne, she reached the 4th-Round of a Major for the first time. 2-weeks-ago, she scored her 8th career top-10 upset, defeating Belinda Bencic to reach the Semifinals in St. Petersburg. After a 1st-Round exit last week in Dubai, she’s hungry for another deep run.
After the victory, Maria reflected on her new top-20 status
You see, Maria’s mom also played on Tour. Back in the 1987, Angeliki Kanellopoulou reached a career-high ranking of World #43. While today’s milestone is affirming – when it comes to rankings, Maria will always remember the moment she surpassed her mother’s career-high.
Shortly after her Semifinal run in Istanbul two years ago, Maria leaped to World #41. She and Angeliki learned the news while laying on the bed together – a quiet celebratory moment she’ll never forget.
Head to Head: Fifth meeting between these two players
Maria Sakkari -20- (GRE) | Round-1 Announcer Introduction
Last month at the Australian Open, she reached the Round of 16 at a Major for the first time. Two weeks ago, she defeated World #5 Belinda Bencic to reach the Semifinals in St. Petersburg. And this morning, she woke to the news that she has cracked the WTA’s top-20 for the first time. Last year, she captured her first WTA Singles title in Rabat – and at the Italian Open, reached her 2nd career Premier-5 Semifinal as a qualifier. Back in Doha for her second Qatar Total Open – for the first time, she’s opening a Premier-5 run as a seeded player. From Greece, please welcome World #20 Maria Sakkari.
- R1 — W | Julia Görges -36- (GER) | Score: 6-4, 6-3
Announcer Corner | Doha: Maria Sakkari
Two years ago, before she captured her first title – before her last seven top-10 wins over names like Kvitova, Svitolina and Pliskova – Maria Sakkari made her Doha debut as the World #60, and fell in the Opening Round to Sorana Cirstea.
Julia Görges -36- (GER) | Round-1 Announcer Introduction
In 2007, she made her Doha debut as an 18-year-old Qualifying Wild Card. At the time, ranked outside the top-400 – she won all three of her qualifying matches – and earned her first WTA main-draw victory to reach the 2nd-Round. Today – 13-years-later – she is a Grand Slam Semifinalist, a Fed Cup Finalist, owns 7 WTA Singles titles, and has been ranked as high as World #9. A 2-time Doha Quarterfinalist, she is back on Center Court competing in her 7th Qatar Total Open. From Germany, please welcome Julia Görges.
- R1 — L |  Maria Sakkari -20- (GRE) | Score: 4-6, 3-6
Announcer Corner | Doha: Julia Görges
Granted a Qualifying Wild Card in 2007, this is where Julia Görges earned her first career WTA Tour main draw victory. After 3 straight-sets wins in qualifying, the 18-year-old took-out Agnes Szavay in Round-1, then fell to World #5 Svetlana Kuznetsova in the Round of 16.