US Open star didn’t know she was filmed crying as she U-turns after breakdown

Maria Sakkari U-turned on her decision to take a break from tennis following an emotional first-round exit from the US Open. The world No 9 broke down in tears during her post-match press conference, with the heartbreaking moment drawing attention from her fans and rivals. Sakkari admitted that she wasn’t aware it was being recorded as she made her return at the San Diego Open.

Sakkari is back in action just two weeks after a disappointing defeat at the US Open made her question her future in tennis. The Greek star crashed out 6-4 6-4 Rebeka Masarova in what was her third successive first-round loss at a Grand Slam tournament. 

The 28-year-old cried and said she had been “suffering” during the matches, floating the idea of a hiatus from the sport. But Sakkari has already bounced back following an influx of support and she addressed the emotional breakdown ahead of her campaign at this week’s San Diego Open.

“I didn’t know it was being recorded,” the world No 9 said of her tearful press conference. “I didn’t know it was going to get as big as it got, especially back home.”

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As well as receiving words of encouragement from her supporters, Sakkari said she also got messages from some of her rivals – something that made her decide against taking a break from tennis. She continued: “The amount of messages, love, and support from people back home and from a lot of my colleagues was very nice.

“I’m very thankful that I have people on the tour that support me like that. That was the main reason why I decided I want to keep going. They gave me a lot of strength. That was one of the nicest things I’ve felt in my career.”

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It comes just two weeks after Sakkari said: “Maybe I should take a break, I’m suffering on the court. I can’t make a decision now, it’s hard. I don’t have a clear mind.” And it seems that some time to find clarity has done the trick for the two-time Grand Slam semi-finalist.

Sakkari is now preparing to face Camila Osorio at this week’s WTA 500 event in San Diego. The Greek player is the third seed and received a bye directly into the second round. Osorio came through qualifying to reach the main draw, where she then beat Magdalena Frech in her opening round.

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