Maria Sakkari battles past Potapova to St. Petersburg second round.

St. Petersburg 2022: Maria Sakkari.

St. Petersburg, WTA 500: The top seed Maria Sakkari gets a fighting victory against Russian Anastasia Potapova, 6-4, 6-4 to move to the second round.

The Russian was firing hard in the first round getting an early 4-1 lead. Sakkari however would climb back her way after battling for 1-hour and 43 minutes.

The Russian first leveled the second set at 2-2 and then had three break points to go 5-3 up but the Greek had other ideas fending off all of the breakpoints and level the match 4-4.

It was Sakkari who then broke Potapova jumping ahead 5-4. The Greek served out the match in style, having saved 12 of the 14 break points she faced all day.

Maria Sakkari.
Maria Sakkari.

“I managed to find a way to win, which is the most important thing, to give myself another chance tomorrow to play a lot better,” Sakkari said afterward. “I just found solutions when I was down in the score, just tried to make more balls than her and tried to make her feel a little uncomfortable than usual.”

Sakkari will next face another Russian, World No.43 Ekaterina Alexandrova, in the second round. Sakkari holds a 3-1 lead in their head-to-head.

“Alexandrova, she’s a very tough opponent, she hits hard, she likes to play fast and attack every single ball,” said Sakkari. “But I trust my game, I trust the fact that I can get better every day.”

In other matches, Former champion Kvitova blasted four aces in a row to serve out the match against Arantxa Rus. Meanwhile, Anastasia Pavlyuchenko was forced to withdraw from her home tournament due to a left knee injury.

Maria Sakkaria and Anastasia Potapova highlights, St. Peterburg 2022.