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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Thursday November 11, 2021

When Iga Swiatek was in tears before match point and at the conclusion of her straight-sets loss to Maria Sakkari on Thursday at the WTA Finals in Guadalajara, Sakkari showed her concern and reached out to give Swiatek a big hug.

Tennis Express

She may be the queen of the Spartan mentality on court, but Sakkari knows when to switch off and show compassion for a peer that is struggling.

“I mean, yeah, more than anything we're human,” she said after the match. “Okay, it's another tennis match. She's only 20 years old. She's going to have many more chances than I'll have in the future because it's only the beginning for her.”

Like all television viewers, Sakkari was quick to pick up on the fact that Swiatek was having a tough moment on court.


“I saw that she was struggling,” she told reporters. “It wasn't a nice thing to see from the other side of the net. She's a very, very nice girl. I mean, we always have great practices and great chats.”

Swiatek entered the tournament with high expectations, having practiced at altitude in Arizona before heading to Mexico.

She said that things just unraveled for her today and she started to look at her situation too negatively.

“I was just frustrated and sad that I couldn't overcome the stress,” she said. “I keep, like, forgetting that I still have time to learn how to do that because playing in the Finals for me. When I forget this is new for me, still it's okay to lose some matches because of the stress.

“For me, I feel like it's a big deal and I'm feeling a little bit ashamed that my level was like that. So I was just feeling pretty sad.”

The Greek says that her decision to reach out and show Swiatek some warmth was just a quick reaction to a difficult situation.

“It was something natural,” she said.

That natural reaction says a lot about the state of things on the WTA Tour at the moment. The desire to win is high, but in the end, they are all in the fight together.

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