I was as getting impatient as success eluded me: Maria

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Paris, June 9 : World No.18 Greek Maria Sakkari, who made it to her first-ever Grand Slam singles semi-final said on Wednesday that she was getting "impatient" with not being able to break into a Grand Slam semi-final. But now that the milestone had been achieved, the 25-year-old said she was "happy about it". Maria had reached the fourth round of the Australian Open and US Open last year, and had entered the Wimbledon third round in 2017 and 2019. But despite her best efforts she wasn't getting close to emerging as a title contender, until Wednesday when she got the better of Iga to set up a last-four clash against Barbora Krejcikova. "I have people around me telling it was going to come. You know, they were right. Maybe I was the one who was telling them, I was impatient, telling them, 'When and when and when?' It actually came this week, so I'm happy about it," said Maria during the post-match press conference. Maria, the highest-ranked player remaining in the field, is just two wins away from a historic singles title for a Greek woman. "I don't want to get too excited because I don't have a day off tomorrow. I still have to play, stay focused. But it's a big achievement, for sure. I'm enjoying, as I said on court, my tennis and myself," she said. Two days ago, Maria had become the first Greek to enter a Grand Slam singles quarterfinalist when she earned her first win over a top-10 player at a Grand Slam, defeating world No.5 Sofia Kenin of the USA. Maria made it two top-10 wins in a row with her upset of Iga. Against the defending champion, Maria won 83 per cent of points behind her first service. "Every player has a way of playing, a way of just executing the game plan. I feel like I have a heavy forehand, a good forehand on the clay. I have to play with it. I served really well today," she said. On her semi-final clash against Czech Republic's Barbora, Maria said, "It's going to be very tough, but I'm confident that my coaches will give me the right game plan. So far I have been executing whatever they said really well. I trust myself and I trust their game plan. I think it's going to work out well." /IANS




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