Maria Sakkari in action at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open 2021
Date: 24 September 2021
Tournament: Ostrava Open 2021
Venue: Ostrava, Czech Republic
Category: WTA 500
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: $565,530
Match timing: Not before 2.00 pm local time, 12.00 pm GMT, 8.00 am EST, 5.30 pm IST
Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK – Amazon Prime Video
Maria Sakkari vs Tereza Martincova preview
Fourth seed Maria Sakkari will face Czech wildcard Tereza Martincova on Friday with a spot in the semifinals of the J&T Banka Ostrava Open up for grabs.
Sakkari is in the middle of a career-best season. The Greek has notched up a 31-15 win-loss record for the year, the biggest highlights of which were her semifinal appearances at the French Open and the US Open. Her performances have been rewarded with a rise in the rankings, with the Greek currently perched at a career-high No. 12.
Sakkari reached her seventh quarterfinal of the year with a 6-4, 6-2 demolition of last week’s Luxembourg runner-up Jelena Ostapenko. The Greek will hope to continue her stellar form and win her first WTA title in two years.
Tereza Martincova in action at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open 2021
Sakkari’s next opponent, World No. 61 Tereza Martincova, has had a mixed season so far. The Czech made it to the final in Prague as well as the quarterfinals in Chicago, Birmingham and Nottingham, but hasn’t done much else of note.
She suffered early losses at the US Open and Portoroz, but appears to have rediscovered her best form this week on home soil in Ostrava.
Martincova put up a stunning display in the first round, knocking out Bad Homburg runner-up Katerina Siniakova in three tight. She followed that up with a 7-6(5), 7-6(8) upset of fifth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova to make the last eight.
Maria Sakkari vs Tereza Martincova head-to-head
Maria Sakkari leads Tereza Martincova 2-0 in their head-to-head. Interestingly, both matches went the distance, with the Greek emerging a 3-6, 7-6(5), 6-0 winner in their most recent clash at Doha last year.
Maria Sakkari vs Tereza Martincova prediction
Maria Sakkari celebrates a point at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open 2021
Maria Sakkari has picked up from where she left off in New York two weeks ago. The Greek looked in spectacular form against Ostapenko in her opening match in Ostrava, striking the ball with authority.
Although the World No. 12 didn’t land a high percentage of first serves (53.5%), she made up for it with consistent second serves. Sakkari served four aces, won 87% of her first-serve points and 80% of her second-serve points as she displayed first-strike tennis of the highest order.
The indoor conditions suit the Greek’s hard-hitting style of play and will give her an edge in her upcoming clash with Martincova.
That said, the Czech’s relentless defense could cause Sakkari a few problems. Martincova proved to be an impenetrable wall in her matches against Siniakova and Pavlyuchenkova. She will once again look to get extra balls back into play and frustrate Sakkari into making unforced errors.
Both previous meetings between these two players went the distance and that could be the case once again. But considering Sakkari’s recent form, she might just be able to eke out the win.
Prediction: Maria Sakkari to win in three sets.