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By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Wednesday November 2, 2022

 
Maria Sakkari

Maria Sakkari battled past Ons Jabeur to make the semifinals for the second straight year at the WTA Finals.

Photo Source: Matthew Stockman/Getty

Maria Sakkari was the last woman to qualify for this year’s WTA Finals. The Greek, who defeated Aryna Sabalenka 6-2, 6-4 on Wednesday night in Fort Worth, is the first to qualify for the semifinals.

Tennis Express

Sakkari improves to 3-4 against Sabalenka, but she was made to work after stepping out to a commanding lead. Sabalenka trailed 6-2, 3-0 but won the next four games to make her presence felt in the contest.

No matter, Sakkari doubled down and claimed the final three games to lock up a satisfying victory – more proof that he head and game are in the right place as the season winds down.

“I felt like I did nothing wrong from three-love,” Sakkari said. “Maybe I was a little bit passive, but at the same time, she started making more balls. She started being more aggressive. She was making every shot she wasn't missing like in the first set and a half. “I just told myself keep doing what you're doing and you'll get your chances and you know with a little bit of well deserved luck I would say, I managed to close out the match.”


Things tighten up significantly after Sakkari in the four-player Nancy Richey Group in Fort Worth. Ons Jabeur edged Jessica Pegula in Wednesday’s first match to move into second place in the group.

The Tunisian’s 1-6, 6-3, 6-3 victory is her 47th of the season. Jabeur, who reached Grand Slam finals at Wimbledon and the US Open, produced a stunning turnaround after dropping a lopsided opening set.

“It's never easy playing Jess,” Jabeur said. “She plays super fast and it was super fast for me from the beginning, so I had to find the rhythm. I had to keep pushing myself and my team really helped me here, and the crowd.”

Jabeur will qualify for the semifinals with a win on Friday over Sakkari, unless she loses in three sets to the Greek and Sabalenka defeats Jessica Pegula in straight sets.

Krejcikova and Siniakova Reach Semis

Defending champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova continued their winning ways on Wednesday, knocking off Xu Yifan and Yang Zhaoxuan 6-3, 6-3 to qualify for the semifinals. The Czech duo, which won three major titles this season, have only lost three matches in 2022.

Krejcikova and Siniakova have won the group outright, while Coco Gauff and Jessica Pegula were eliminated on Wednesday after falling to Demi Schuurs and Desirae Krawczyk, 3-6, 6-0, 10-5.

The winner on Friday between Krawczyk & Schuurs and Xu & Yang will claim the second position. Gauff & Pegula cannot advance.

 

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