Australian Open: No 'Netflix curse' for comeback queen Sakkari

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Maria Sakkari laughed off any suggestion of a "Netflix curse" after a comeback win over Diana Shnaider at the Australian Open.

Sakkari, seeded sixth in Melbourne, came from a set down to beat Shnaider 3-6 7-5 6-3 on Wednesday.

That marked the Greek's fifth career comeback win in a grand slam main draw, though her first since the fourth round at the 2021 US Open against Bianca Andreescu, and her first at the Australian Open.

Across this season and last year, Sakkari has played 25 Tour-level matches that have gone the distance, with only Ons Jabeur (26), Belinda Bencic (27) and Aryna Sabalenka (28) having played more three-set matches in the same timeframe.

Sakkari was one of nine players (four from the WTA Tour, five from the ATP Tour) to feature in Netflix's new Break Point series, which was launched on the streaming platform earlier this month.

However, three of those players – Nick Kyrgios, Ajla Tomljanovic and Paula Badosa – had to withdraw from the season's first grand slam due to injuries, while Matteo Berrettini was defeated by Andy Murray in his first-round match.

Yet Sakkari does not believe in such superstitions as a "Netflix curse".

"Netflix curse? I have never heard that," Sakkari said.

"I mean, the only one that I can think of is Matteo, but Matteo lost his match 7-6 on the fifth set. I personally have to say that they only bring us luck, and I enjoyed my time with them because they are nice people.

"Trust me, they are very, very nice. You know, if you let these thoughts and this energy affect you, then it's when bad luck comes.

"I would say that because they are all very nice and they are all very respectful, they have only brought me good luck."

She smiled: "Obviously some tournaments I play badly because I play badly. It's not because of them! But, yes, overall it has been great."

Shnaider, in her first meeting with Sakkari, became the first female qualifier to win the opening set at the Australian Open against a top-eight seeded opponent since Angelique Kerber against Svetlana Kuznetsova in 2010.

Sakkari will face Lin Zhu in the third round, after the latter's win over Jil Teichmann.

The pair have only met once before, in qualifying for the 2016 Australian Open, with Sakkari coming out on top.