Greek tennis stars Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas will advance to the mixed doubles quarterfinals at the Tokyo Olympics after a win in a doubles match against the Canadian duo Gabriella Dabrowski and Felix Auger Aliassime on Wednesday.
This was an incredible win for the pair, by the score of 6-3 and 6-4, especially for Tsitsipas, who had just lost a singles match to Ugo Humbert of France earlier in the day.
Tsitsipas lost earlier singles match at Tokyo Olympics
Tsitsipas began the match with Humbert with the best possible performance and took an easy win of 6-2.
Unfortunately, the second set proved much more difficult. Not only did Humbert ramp up his performance, but Tsitsipas was unfortunate too, as toward the end of the set he became injured.
Tsitsipas fell to the ground in obvious pain, and the match was paused. After a rapid inspection of the medical team present at the court, it was decided that the Greek champion could continue.
However, the second set had already been lost for Tsitsipas with a score of 6-7.
During the third set of the match, Tsitsipas fought courageously; however, his strength was not enough to triumph over his opponent and he lost it with a score of 2-6.
Sakkari also faced defeat
Sakkari’s own Olympic hopes for an individual medal had been crushed as well, after she suffered a loss to Ukraine’s Elina Svitolina on Tuesday with a score of 1-2.
Sakkari won the first set 7-5 in a confrontation that was difficult for both players. However, she proved to be more determined and managed to get the set.
Unfortunately, the second set proved tone was more of a problem for Sakkari. A series of misfortunes and mistakes, along with the much better performance of the Ukrainian player, allowed the set to fall to Svitolina with a score of 3-6.
A similar pattern was followed in the third and last set, where the Greek champion lost 4-6.
Despite their individual losses, there is still a path to an Olympic medal for both tennis stars in the mixed doubles event.
After their win against the French duo, Sakkari and Tsitsipas will take on the Australian pair, Ash Barty and John Peers on Thursday.
Tsitsipas and Sakkari shine a light on Greek tennis
Tennis has never enjoyed much popularity in Greece, which is why Tsitsipas has spoken numerous times of his goal to make tennis popular in Greece. One way to do that, beyond being a successful all-around tennis player, is to win a medal for his country at the Olympics.
He was the youngest men’s finalist at Roland Garros since Rafael Nadal won the title in 2008, and was trying to become the first Greek to win a Grand Slam title.
Maria Sakkari is the first Greek woman to appear in a semifinal of a Grand Slam.
The Greek tennis champion is known for her aggressive, all-court style of play, centered around her strong serve and powerful groundstrokes. Sakkari served the sixth most aces of any player in 2020, with 144 aces served in 31 matches.