The streak is over. Before arriving at the 2021 Miami Open, No. 2 Naomi Osaka was on a 23-match winning streak — including the last two Grand Slams, with her last loss coming 13 months ago. The 23-year-old was looking to keep the momentum going, but No. 23 seed Maria Sakkari had other plans. Sakkari defeated Osaka 6-0, 6-4 in Wednesday’s quarterfinal.
With the loss she will also have to wait for the top ranking.
After the defeat, Osaka discussed what went wrong and what she can take away from the experience:
“What can I learn from the loss? I’m not really sure right now, I knew that going into the match … she’s like a really big fighter, so I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. I felt like I haven’t been playing well this whole tournament, like I couldn’t find a groove, so mentally it’s really hard for me.”
Sakkari, 25, is following in the footsteps of her mother, tennis player Angeliki Kanellopoulou, who’s highest ranking was No. 43 in the 1980s.
Sakkari mentioned her mother’s legacy after the big win, but points out she is on her own path.
“I never felt like I want to break my mom’s record, not at all. I admire her for what she achieved and for the person she is, and what she has given me and my siblings all these years,” she said.
“It’s a huge thing for me having a person in my family that really felt the way I feel on court … I’m really super proud of her and very happy, you know, that I’m her daughter.”
Sakkari will face No. 8 seed Bianca Andreescu. Canada’s Andreescu is coming off a 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 win over Spain’s Sara Sorribes Tormo.