Maria Sakkari aims to make an impact in qualifying at WTA Finals

WIMBLEDON, England — This could be the year that Maria Sakkari gets her first appearance in the season-ending WTA Finals.

The Greek qualifier, who has won two matches in the last two days to advance to the second round at Wimbledon, made it clear she wants to make her presence felt with her play at the season-ending tournament in Singapore.

“Every match is a fight, I think every match is going to be in the fight, and I am going to do my best against each one of my opponents,” Sakkari said. “For sure, I will try to find the most motivation to play my best and try to make a big impression on the last two tournaments.”

Sakkari, who did not drop a set until the fourth round at Wimbledon, has a bye into the next round of qualifying and will play the winner of Elena Vesnina and Irina Falconi.

Sakkari said she was pleased with her performances throughout the week and is looking to peak at the end of the season.

“Of course, it is the last two tournaments (at) the end of the year,” she said. “Of course, I wanted to do everything to win two matches. I haven’t dropped a set in any match I played on the grass so far. I think I played well in all parts.”

The other qualifier remaining after four rounds is Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia. It’s the last WTA tournament of the year, which could be a huge boost for the player after making it to the fourth round at Wimbledon and into the Rogers Cup in Toronto.

“I think we still have a few matches to play,” Sevastova said. “For me, it’s the final hope for the last tournament of the year so I’m trying my best.”

Just two spots are left to be filled at the top level of qualifying, but players’ rankings can affect who qualifies. Top-ranked Garbine Muguruza will miss the final tournament of the year.

The Novak Djokovic-seeded Czech Republic, the Dutchman Robin Haase and India’s Kavinder Singh will also be playing in the following rounds, while Russia’s Kirill Kaprizov and Belarus’ Aliaksandra Sasnovich are among the players in the hunt to grab the remaining spots.

“Each player will have an opportunity to decide where he wants to be and how he wants to start the next round,” said Kvitova, the 2016 champion who lost to Naomi Osaka in the fourth round. “I think the rankings will help for the people. It’s not like they’re going to help the top players more, but it’s going to help them for the future.”

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