For the first time ever Greece will have a female and male player end the year in the top ten rankings. Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas will both see out 2021 ranked among the world’s best.
Of the two, Sakkari made the biggest jump this year, ending the season at number six after starting the year at 23.
The gritty 26-year-old had various stellar performances in 2021, rewriting the history books of Greek tennis after becoming the first woman from her country to reach a major semifinal.
In June she made it to the semifinals of the French Open in Paris and even had a match point in her third set against Czech Barbora Krejcikova, eventually losing 7-5, 4-6, 9-7.
Sakkari made it to another Grand Slam Semi Final in New York, but once again fell short, losing to surprise champion Emma Raducanu.
Those results led to Sakkari making it to her first WTA Finals held in Guadalajara. She was defeated in the semifinals by 25-year-old Estonian Annette Kontaveit, who was then defeated in the final by Garbine Mugurutha.
On the men’s side, Tsitsipas is set to finish the year in the top five for the first time in his career. The 23-year-old will end 2021 at number four in the world rankings, two positions higher than where he started the year.
In 2017, Tsitsipas finished at number 91 in the world. Since then he has upped his rankings, ending 2021 at number 15. In the previous two years, the Athens native finished at number six worldwide.
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