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September 10, 2021

Maria Sakkari

New York, New York, USA

Press Conference


6-1, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Your thoughts about tonight's match.

MARIA SAKKARI: Well, clearly things didn't go well. I wasn't myself on court. Yeah, I couldn't make many balls. I gave her so many chances. Didn't even, like, push her with my game.

She found everything pretty easy from my side. But credit to her. She took her chances.

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you describe the way Emma played and your thoughts on her accomplishing what she has in this tournament?

MARIA SAKKARI: I mean, it's huge what she has accomplished. They are both young. They play fearless. They have nothing to lose playing against us.

But as I said I have to give credit to both of them, both of the young girls, that they take their chances. They're out there fighting for that title. Very well done to both for getting here.

Q. Is there something about the way she plays that makes it very difficult, that brought out a lesser performance in you?

MARIA SAKKARI: No. I mean, I've played with players, for example, Kvitova. The ball comes extremely fast. Not like it's a ball that comes very fast and you have no time to react.

But as I said earlier, she plays fearless. She absolutely goes for it. She does the right thing actually. She goes for it. She has nothing to lose. She's enjoying herself.

But we were all absent from the court these days playing against her. I saw Belinda yesterday. I don't want to speak for her, but I think she would agree with me that we did not bring our best performance.

I'm sad. I'm very broken that I couldn't make it to my first final once again. But I'm positive that it will come sometime soon.

Q. Did you feel like you did have something to lose? Did you feel more pressure especially after Sabalenka lost?

MARIA SAKKARI: I did not feel more pressure after Aryna lost. It's just that I probably didn't handle it the right way, playing a second semifinal again this year. I had bad memories from my last one and I think I did not handle it the right way. Things don't go your way most of the times. You just have to accept that.

I'm a person that I'll go back home and I'll start working hard again because I'm having the best season of my life. I still have very good chances of finishing where I want to finish this season no matter what happened here.

It's just that I have to keep believing in myself, keep doing what I'm doing.

Q. You left the court early in the first set. Was something wrong with your outfit?

MARIA SAKKARI: I took the wrong size of my skirt. It was a size larger. I could not play. It was falling. I was pretty quick, though (smiling).

Q. Was there anything that you tried to do to make it a fight and it didn't happen for you?

MARIA SAKKARI: I mean, I think I fought until the last point. It's tough to get yourself back in the match when nothing is going right and everything is going very good for the opponent.

It's just that my serve was not there. My groundstrokes. I was missing a lot, which is not very natural for me. I think I did not handle the pressure of playing another semifinal once again. It happens. It's human emotions.

I'm a person that I need my time. I'm 26. It's not like I'm their age, I had big results at that age. I always need to go step by step. My career so far has been a marathon, not a sprint.

I'm just going to accept what happened today. As I said earlier, that gives me even more power to go back on court and practice even more.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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