Maria Sakkari was seen in tears after suffering a devastating loss 6-0, 6-1 to World No.1 Aryna Sabalenka.

Earlier this month, the eighth-ranked player in the WTA standings, Czech star Karolina Muchova, declared that she would be foregoing her opportunity to compete in the WTA finals due to an injury to her wrist. And in her place, Maria Sakkari stepped in.

Sakarri’s first match in the tournament, however, didn’t go her way. She was faced with a tough adversary to beat, Belarusian player Sabalenka. Despite her valiant efforts to hold her footing, Sabalenka displayed her undeniable prowess as a tennis player and upset Sakarri dominantly in the two sets.

Sakkari: ‘No one likes to get chopped on the court’

After the match, Sakkari and Sabalenka shook hands at the net before resigning to their respective benches. It was during this time that Sakkari abandoned her gruff exterior and let out her emotions, sobbing as she wrapped her head in a white towel.

Sakkari stated after the game that it was clear she was not performing to her full potential and was not at ease in the match that day.

Via The Tennis Letter: “I don’t have much to say.. I think it was pretty obvious I wasn’t feeling my game & wasn’t feeling comfortable out there. Just a very, very bad day at the office. I just don’t think that I’m the first or the last person that has felt this way on the court or has cried on the court. It’s not nice. But no one likes to get chopped on the court.”

Sabalenka, meanwhile, had comforting words for Sakkari. The Belarusian player praised Sakkari for being an amazing player and for continuing to fight despite the scores.

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“She’s an amazing player and she’s always fighting for every ball. And, I knew that no matter what the score is that she’s going to fight for it. That’s what makes her a really tough opponent. You know against Maria, any time she can come back. You just give her a little bit and she’ll take that and keep fighting.”

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