Danielle Dominates  - 

April 5, 2024

Quarterfinals – Maria Sakkari def. Veronika Kudermetova 6-2 6-4

MODERATOR: Congratulations on your win today into the semifinals. If you just want to give us your thoughts on your performance today.
MARIA SAKKARI: Yeah. I thought it was a great match. I played really well, probably the best match I’ve played here. Obviously the more I play on clay, the more I get used to the surface, and just felt very confident today while I was playing, and yeah, I knew it was going to be tough, but I just trusted myself.

Q. (No microphone)?

MARIA SAKKARI: Well, I had very — not low expectations. I just felt like I came with the right mindset. Going into that first match, I didn’t have like high expectations in my game. I just wanted to get myself into the clay court mentality and like physicality and like game style, I would say, because I felt like if I was to come here with very high expectations, expect to play great tennis from that first match, I think that wouldn’t be a good thing.

So going into that first match I did what I had to do. I was very happy with it. And then I just felt more confident going into the next one and through today’s match, I just feel good in my shots. I feel good moving on the clay, and obviously I haven’t played here in fiveyears, haven’t played on green clay in five years. So I’m just liking the way I’m feeling on the court.

Q. Have you been able to hang out in Charleston at all? MARIA SAKKARI: Not much. What did I do? Before the tournament I had two very nice — three very nice meals, which is good. And yesterday and today, because I had the morning off, I just walked around, went for a nice coffee, but that’s all. I haven’t seen much. Just around the hotel.

Q. I think just sticking with that theme, why did you add Charleston to your schedule this year?

MARIA SAKKARI: Well, first of all, it’s an amazing tournament. As you heard, I haven’t been here in five years. Everyone had said the best things about the stadium and about the new facilities, and I just felt like everyone here is so nice. People are extremely, you know, just very nice, let me say. And I just felt like I want to do something different this year, because I’ve been playing the calendar the last three years, which was Stuttgart, Madrid, Rome. And this year I just decided to do something different, and it feels like it’s the best decision, because I’ve been playing very good this week, and I’m sure that — obviously we have Fed Cup next week, but then going home after the week of Stuttgart instead of playing that week and then having the time to prepare for Madrid, I think that’s the best thing for me.

Q. It seemed like the crowd enjoyed having you.

MARIA SAKKARI: Oh, yeah. I didn’t expect that much love, and I’m so happy that — no, because I thought not that they don’t like me.

I just didn’t know how much they like me here. But the more time I spend in the U.S., the more I feel like tennis is actually on the way up again.
And funny enough, like last week, when I was in D.C. for two days and then I took an Uber to the airport. So the guy was like, he saw my racquets, and he was like, oh, you’re a tennis player? He didn’t recognize me at first. And then once he actually recognized me, he was like, you know what, I’m so happy that tennis is actually on the way up again because I felt like for a few years it was like — it was — how can I say? Like help me. Struggling. Yes. It was struggling.
So, yeah, that was very nice to hear. And I heard that from another person that was sitting next to me on the plane, which is great because obviously the U.S. is the biggest market or one of the biggest markets for tennis.

Maria Sakkari
Players in this article