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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday May 10, 2024

Now 14-4 since beginning her partnership with coach David Witt at Indian Wells, Maria Sakkari has changed the complexion of her season – and her hopes of winning a Grand Slam.

Tennis Express

The 8th-ranked Greek, who was one point from reaching the Roland-Garros final in 2021, has time on her side. She’s only 28 (29 in July), and thriving again under the tutelage of the man who has formerly coached Venus Williams and Jessica Pegula.

Asked today if she felt she was “ready” to win a major, Sakkari did not hesitate.

“I am,” she said. “It might never happen – no one knows – but one thing is for sure: I’m ready. I’m gonna try everything I can to win it, without putting any pressure on myself.”

Sakkari struggled on the clay last year, losing in the third round at Rome and the first round at Roland-Garros. That puts her in pretty good stead in terms of rankings. After reaching the third round on Friday in Rome the former World No.3 has no points to defend until mid-June.

The Greek has already won more matches (6-2) on clay this year than she did all last year (5-4). Fifth-seeded Sakkari edged Varvara Gracheva 6-2, 6-2 and will face Anhelina Kalinina in the third round at Rome.

Sakkari has struggled at times with her confidence – and game – over the last few years, but she says that the belief has not left her. She’s still dreaming big and believing that good things will come.

“There are a lot of times that I go to bed – it’s funny – but I just picture myself winning that Grand Slam. I would love for it to happen, but who knows, we cannot predict the future. It might never happen but I’ll just try my best.”