WTA

Sakkari and Kontaveit cruise through in St Petersburg

By Sports Desk February 09, 2022

Maria Sakkari and Anett Kontaveit were among the big names to cruise through to the quarter-finals of the St Petersburg Ladies Trophy on Wednesday.

Top seed Sakkari faced Ekaterina Alexandrova in the second round and recorded a routine 6-2 6-4 triumph as she looks to bounce back from a fourth-round exit at the Australian Open. 

The Greek will next face a difficult contest with Elise Mertens, who needed three sets to see off the challenge presented by Petra Martic and seal a 6-4 3-6 6-2 success. 

Second seed Kontaveit recorded a 6-4 7-5 victory over Romania's Sorana Cirstea to set up a tantalising meeting with Belinda Bencic after the Swiss downed Kaja Juvan 6-1 7-6 (7-2). 

World number 12 Elena Rybakina, meanwhile, needed less than an hour to record a straight-sets victory over Varvara Gracheva, booking an encounter with Tereza Martincova in the round of 16. 

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    Aged 22 years and 165 days at the time of his Melbourne Park triumph, Sinner became the youngest-ever player to achieve successive ATP top-five wins in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final of a major, surpassing Michael Stich – 22 years and 262 days at Wimbledon in 1991.

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    Sinner enjoyed a remarkable campaign last year, winning his first Masters 1000 title at the Canadian Open and finishing the season by reaching the showpiece of the ATP Finals.

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    Australian Open successes and a fine 2023 campaign brought Sinner to his crowning moment in June as he became the first Italian to reach world number one since the ATP rankings started in 1973.

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    Since 2000, Sinner is also just the third male player taller than 188 centimetres to reach the summit of tennis before turning 23, along with Andy Roddick and Marat Safin.

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