Jessica Pegula v Maria Sakkari – Follow Australian Open LIVE

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.css-hmlgub-StyledLabelText{margin-left:1px;}Australian Open women

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Singles | Round 4

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Live

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J.Pegula

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4

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Maria Sakkari v Veronika Kudermetova – Follow LIVE

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.css-hmlgub-StyledLabelText{margin-left:1px;}Australian Open women

'A little bit stressed' Sakkari battles past Maria to reach second round

Maria Sakkari is into the second round of the Australian Open after beating Tatjana Maria 6-4 7-6(2) on Rod Laver Arena.

Sakkari was nowhere near her best level, but moves into the next round and will face China’s Qinwen Zheng.

The 26-year-old admitted opening the tournament on the Grand Slam’s premier court was stressful.

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“First rounds are not very easy,” she said. “She really played a great match. She has a very weird game in a good way and I found it tough. It was my first match and I needed a bit of time to get used to the rhythm.

“I was a little bit stressed because I was opening up the tournament in this wonderful court. It is a privilege that I had my first match here on this wonderful court.

“Sometimes I can be very hard on myself but I’m very happy that I could find a way through to win and keep myself in the tournament.”

The No. 5 seed had to battle hard in the first set which saw her produce 15 unforced errors compared to Maria’s 13 and both players broke each other’s serve in a nervy opening to the contest.

However, the Greek player who reached the semi-finals of the French Open and US Open last year, broke to go 5-4 up before sealing the set at the first time of asking.

The second set was equally tight and Maria squandered two break point opportunities at 3-2 up.

A relieved Sakkari was not playing her best tennis and had to save another break point to ensure it was 4-4. Maria continued to cause Sakkari problems, particularly with a handful of punishing drop shots, and the second set headed for a tie-break.

Momentum swung the Greek’s way and she reeled off the opening four points to take a commanding lead. A double fault from Maria handed Sakkari four match points and she secured the victory with a blistering forehand.

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