Maria Sakkari defeats Conny Perrin 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 in First Round

M. Sakkari defeats C. Perrin 7-5, 3-6, 6-1 – First Round

Q. Maria, it was a tough match. Can you just talk through just first the conditions and also what the key was in the third set.

MARIA SAKKARI: Yeah, of course it was extremely cold after coming from Indian Wells and Miami where it was very, very warm. You know, heavy clay today because of the weather, tough player to play on the clay, especially my first match. But I’m happy I went through, and I did well in the third set.

Q. Does it get this cold in Greece?

MARIA SAKKARI: Not at this time. At the end of the year in like January it does, but not now. Yeah.

Q. So you get Petkovic in the next round. She’s had some nice things to say about you. You guys have practiced together, I suppose but what do you think of that match as a second round match?

MARIA SAKKARI: Yeah, we all know she’s one of the cool kids out there. She’s very, very nice, and she has been playing very good tennis for the last ten years or so. It’s going to be a battle. We haven’t played each other since Madrid, 2016 if I’m not wrong. You know, just finished my match. So I’ll talk about it with Tom, either later today or tomorrow morning, but I’m sure it’s going to be tough.

Q. And just for you with the hard court season kind of done and we’re looking towards the clay can you kind of reflect on the first three months of the season? Were you pleased with it, were you not and then going into the clay what’s your attitude going into the season?

MARIA SAKKARI: Well, I’m not satisfied. I played well in Australia. So I did really well in the season and playing at the Hobart Cup, winning some good matches at the Australian Open. But then, you know, I had the small injury on my hand, as I already said. I had some bad losses. But, you know, I’m trying to get back and trying to find my identity again.

Q. And how do you feel going to clay?

MARIA SAKKARI: Actually, this year that’s what I was telling my coach, that it’s the first time I really feel comfortable playing on clay, which is funny because I grew up playing on clay. So after my clay season last year, this year is the first time I’m really feeling well.

Q. Speaking of clay, do you find a difference in playing on green clay versus red clay?

MARIA SAKKARI: Yeah, I think green clay is a little bit faster, and sometimes it’s a little bit tougher to move. But it’s a good transition because after the hard court you go on the green clay, and then you get a little bit used to the sliding and stuff, so then you are ready for the red clay.

Q. What was it like meeting Giannis (Antetokounmpo)?

MARIA SAKKARI: Pretty unique, I would say. It was so nice. He’s very humble. Yes. He’s a very shy guy, and very polite. And he’s a freak. He’s a Greek freak. (Laughs). When my agent told me that I’m meeting him, I was freaking out. I was like, no way. You are just like, you are kidding me. It was unbelievable.

Conny Perrin Maria Sakkari