Tuesday at the Australian Open, Maria Sakkari was unhappy with her opponent’s celebrations during the middle of the match.
Sakkari of Greece halted her second-round match against Diana Shnaider of Russia to complain about the 18-year-“screaming” old’s after winning a point in the second set.
“If she screams in my face one more time,” the 27-year-old Sakkari shouted to the umpire while wagging her finger. “No, no, no, no, one more time… she is approaching me. One more time and I’m going to speak to the referee.”
Sakkari, who started the event as the sixth seed, won the match in two and a half hours, 3-6, 7-5, 6-3, despite a valiant effort by Shnaider.
Sakkari congratulated Shnaider, who was making her Grand Slam debut at the event, in her post-match interview.
“It was a pretty high level of performance from both of us. “She played an incredible match,” remarked Sakkari. “She is quite young and extremely potential. Maybe she should consider not going to college and turning pro.”
Sakkari explained how Shnaider challenged her during the match and applauded her opponent’s aggressive play.
“It is never easy to face an opponent you have never faced or seen before on tour. I was a little bit hesitant,” Sakkari said. “She was swinging very hard, she was playing very aggressive. I recognize that I should have been more aggressive because I was extremely far from the baseline, running and defending each and every ball, which is not my game. Still, I attempted to discover solutions. I think I am skilled at attempting to find solutions.”
Maria Sakkari of Greece in play against Diana Shnaider of Russia in her second round singles match at the Australian Open on Jan. 17, 2023 in Melbourne, Australia.
Shnaider, who committed to play college tennis at N.C. State in August, wowed in Australian Open qualifying by defeating Robin Montgemery, the 2021 junior US Open champion.
Prior to her training at N.C. State, Shnaider won the 2022 US Open junior doubles championship.
On Friday, Sakkari will face Zhu Lin of China in the third round of the 2023 Australian Open.