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Sakkari, Garcia reach Pan Pacific Open quarter-finals

AFP – World number six Maria Sakkari and number 10 Caroline Garcia moved into the quarter-finals of the Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo yesterday.

Greece’s Sakkari recorded a 6-3, 6-1 win over Japan’s Misaki Doi, who had announced her retirement after the tournament.

The 28-year-old will face France’s Garcia today, who also won in straight sets over Ukraine’s Anhelina Kalinina, ranked 28, 6-4, 6-3.

“It was emotional for Misaki today, but for my side I thought I was playing good,” Sakkari said.

“I’m excited for tomorrow. It’s going to be a great match.”

Sakkari ended her four-year wait for a second WTA title at the Guadalajara Open last week, where she beat Garcia in the semi-finals enroute to lifting the trophy.

Maria Sakkari of Greece hits a return at the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo, Japan. PHOTO: AFP

She had come up empty in six finals since her breakthrough victory in Rabat in 2019.

That included the Guadalajara final last year, when she lost to American Jessica Pegula, and a loss to US Open champion Coco Gauff in the final of the Washington Open this year.

In Tokyo, players had a tough day as the temperature hit 33 degrees Celsius, with 29-year-old Garcia saying “the condition is quite extreme here. Very hot and humid”.

“So I’m very, very pleased” with the win, the 29-year-old said.

In the next round, “I want to try to play my game, to be aggressive… to do the most wins I can,” she added.

Today, four-time Grand Slam champion Iga Swiatek will face Veronika Kudermetova, while world number four Pegula will play Daria Kasatkina.

Australian Open finalist Elena Rybakina has withdrawn, citing health reasons.

The tournament concludes on Sunday.