Full name – Maria Sakkari
Age – 25 (25.07.1995)
Nationality – Greek
Role – Right-Handed, Two-Handed Backhand (Aggressive all-court player)
Coach – Tom Hill
Current Ranking – No. 18
Highest Ranking – No. 18 (17.05.2021)
Career Earnings – US$3,845,516
Win/Loss – 344/229
WTA Titles – 1
Grand Slams – 0
Maria Sakkari is a Greek professional tennis player, as evident with her strong physique and powerful serve. The 25-year-old made her WTA Tour and Grand Slam debut at the same time, when she qualified for the 2015 US Open. Since then, the Greek player has slowly climbed up the ranking ladder, entering Top 20 for the first time last month.
Sakkari has won 13 ITF titles and one WTA Tour title, her triumph at the 2019 Morocco Open, where she defeated Johanna Konta in the final. While in 2020, she made her biggest jump in Grand Slams by making it to the fourth rounds of the Australian Open and the US Open, she went a step further this time around, by making it to the semi final stages of the 2021 Roland Garros.
Sponsors & Endorsement
Adidas – After Nike let go of many of its tennis stars, in a coup of sorts, the German manufacturer Adidas signed up the Greek tennis player Maria Sakkari at the start of 2020. With Stefanos Tsitsipas already a part of their roster, Adidas now had both the top players from the men’s and women’s circuit. Sakkari was first spotted donning her Adidas outfit during the 2020 Brisbane Open.
Wilson – American brand Wilson signed up Sakkari as its brand ambassador. The Greek player uses the Wilson Ultra 100 racquets. With many greats like Roger Federer a long time promoter of the brand, Sakkari’s decision to tie up with the American brand is a step in the right direction.
Rolex – The official timekeeper at Grand Slams and several major tennis tournaments around the globe. Swiss luxury watchmaker Rolex agreed on a sponsorship deal with Maria Sakkari. The 25-year-old joined a group of elite athletes on Rolex’s roster, with the likes of Roger Federer, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Bianca Andreescu among many.
Apivita – Maria Sakkari became the global ambassador for Apivita in 2020. Apivita is a Greek cosmetic manufacturer that makes natural, effective and holistic products for health and beauty. The length of the deal or any financial details have not been revealed by both parties.
Nespresso – From Roger Federer to Ashleigh Barty to Stan Wawrinka, tennis players are known to love their coffee. Maria Sakkari became the latest player to express her love for coffee commercially, Sakkari was seen on endorsement action, featuring in a Nespresso ad, in which she demonstrated how to make a Freddo Cappuccino, a frothy ice beverage popular in Greece.
National Bank of Greece – The National Bank of Greece in 2016 decided to sponsor the then 21-year-old Maria Sakkari, two days after breaking into the Top 100 for the very first time. In their press release, the bank stated: “Ranked #99 in the world, the distinguished young athlete has worked her way to the top not only relying on her talent but through committed hard work and strong will. Committed to endorse the dreams and efforts of the talented young generation in Greece, NBG will sponsor Maria in order to support her effort and reward her dedication to achievement.”
Cosmote – The largest mobile network operator in Greece, Cosmote roped in fellow Greek tennis star Maria Sakkari as its brand ambassador, signed in 2018, the deal would see Sakkari endorse the brand through commercial campaigns and social media promotions.
Aegean Airlines – The largest Greek airline and a flagship carrier of Greece, Aegean Airlines roped in Maria Sakkari as its brand ambassador. The deal was signed between the two parties in the latter stages of 2018.
Replay – Maria Sakkari became a Replay brand ambassador in 2017. Replay is an Italian denim and smart casual-wear brand that brings all over the world it’s authentic and contemporary style. In a press release, the company stated: “Replay and Maria Sakkari share common values – passion, determination, excellence – and share a common vision for the future. Replay foresees her excellent talent to reach her full potential in years to come and is honored by the association with the young tennis player.
Nike – American clothing and sportswear manufacturer Nike decided to cut down a chunk of players from its roster, at the end of the 2019 season. Ajla Tomljanovic, Iga Świątek, Borna Ćorić, and Genie Bouchard were all let go along with Sakkari by the clothing giants.
Best Finishes at each Grand Slam
- Australian Open: 4R (2020)
- Roland Garros: SF (2021)
- Wimbledon: 3R (2017,2019)
- US Open: 4R (2020)
Style of Play
Sakkari is known for her aggressive, all-court play, centered around her strong serve and powerful groundstrokes. But that has only evolved since coach Tom Hill took reins of her training regime. The 25-year-old always had power, but she was not able to direct it the way she wanted it to be. A rigorous training during the lockdown saw Sakkari develop one of the most lethal serves in the present women’s circuit, coupled with a heavy forehand and a delicate balance of varied groundstrokes. In 2020, she served the sixth most aces of any player, with 144 aces in 31 matches.
Maria Sakkari and Naomi Osaka have crossed paths five times in their career. Though the Japanese star leads their current head-to-head battle 3-2, it was Sakkari who won the last bout, thrashing the then World No. 2, 6-0 6-4, in the quarterfinals of the 2021 Miami Open. With both of them being aggressive all-court players, all of their encounters have been tightly contested tussles. While Naomi needed three-sets in all her wins, Sakkari on the other hand, won both of her matches rather comprehensively.