- MOSCOW – Maria Sakkari clinched a spot at the WTA Finals for the first time by reaching the quarter-finals at the Kremlin Cup when Anna Kalinskaya retired with an illness in the second set.
The third-seeded Sakkari, who was leading 6-2, 1-0 when Kalinskaya retired, became the first Greek woman to qualify for the season-ending event for the top eight players.
“It´s achieving one of my biggest goals this year, it´s very satisfying,” Sakkari said according to AP.
Former champion Simona Halep also advanced by beating home favorite Veronika Kudermetova 6-1, 7-6 (4) and Anett Kontaveit ousted Andrea Petkovic 6-1, 6-4.
In the men’s tournament, Adrian Mannarino saved a match point before beating defending champion Andrey Rublev of Russia 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals.
Mannarino faced the match point when trailing 6-5 in the second set but saved it when Rublev netted a backhand. It was a rematch of the 2019 final, which Rublev won.
“Two years later, it is completely different,” Mannarino said. “We have both improved. Andrey has improved a lot more than me. Even if a player is better than you, anything can happen. I got a little bit lucky today and I am really happy with my performance.”
Second-seeded Aslan Karatsev advanced by beating Egor Gerasimov 6-4, 6-3 to set up a quarterfinal against Gilles Simon, who beat American Mackenzie McDonald 6-3, 6-2.