Maria Sakkari was in deep, deep trouble against Petra Kvitova on Wednesday night but never stopped fighting and finally prevailed, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1, to reach her second straight Indian Wells semifinal.

The Greek, a runner-up to Iga Swiatek in the desert a year ago, was asked about Kvitova in her on-court interview.

“From my side, you know, she’s one of the players that I respect the most,” she said. “She has won so many titles, but above all she’s an amazing girl, she’s a very good person. She’s not only an amazing tennis player, but her personality and all the things she went through in her career, there’s a lot of respect from my side. And I’m sure that everyone in the locker room respects her as much as I do.”

After just under an hour on court Kvitova found herself up a set and a break at 6-4, 2-0 with break point for a double break—Sakkari saved it and held. After holding in the next game, Kvitova then brought up double break point with Sakkari serving at 1-3, 15-40—the Greek held.

The next game is where the match completely turned around, as Kvitova was serving at 6-4, 3-2, 40-0 but got broken and was never in the lead again, as Sakkari snuck out another break in the very last game of the second set to send the match to a third, grabbed an early break for 3-1 in the decider and didn't lose another game.

“Not only was I down a set and a break, but she made me play like an amateur in the first set, she was playing so good,” Sakkari said. “I tried to focus on different things. I had to look at the other side of the net and see what I could do better to put her in an uncomfortable position.

“I think it worked. I just tried to play physical. And all I can say is I think I need a pedicure because my feet are bleeding so badly!”

Sakkari has now won her last 11 hard-court quarterfinals in a row, and 19 of the 22 she's ever played.

Sakkari has now won her last 11 hard-court quarterfinals in a row, and 19 of the 22 she's ever played.


With her victory over Kvitova, Sakkari has now won her last 11 hard-court quarterfinals in a row—her last loss in the last eight of a hard-court event came to Garbine Muguruza at Doha in 2021.

The Greek is now 19-3 in her career in hard-court quarterfinals.

d. Osaka in 2021 Miami QFs, 6-0, 6-4
d. Pliskova in 2021 US Open QFs, 6-4, 6-4
d. Swiatek in 2021 Ostrava QFs, 6-4, 7-5
d. Halep in 2021 Moscow QFs, 6-4, 6-4
d. Mertens in 2022 St. Petersburg QFs, 7-6 (7), 6-2
d. Gauff in 2022 Doha QFs, 6-3, 6-3
d. Rybakina in 2022 Indian Wells QFs, 7-5, 6-4
d. Kudermetova in 2022 Guadajalara QFs, 6-1, 5-7, 6-4
d. Vekic in 2023 Linz QFs, 6-3, 7-6 (8)
d. Garcia in 2023 Doha QFs, 6-2, 6-7 (5), 7-6 (5)
d. Kvitova in 2023 Indian Wells QFs, 4-6, 7-5, 6-1