Maria Sakkari and Caroline Garcia seal United Cup tie wins for Greece and France

Maria Sakkari Credit: Alamy
Maria Sakkari Credit: Alamy

Two prominent WTA stars ensured they sealed United Cup tie wins for their nations as Maria Sakkari and Caroline Garcia won on Friday.

Sakkari downed Viktoriya Tomova 6-3, 6-2 in one hour and 27 minutes and giving Greece an unassailable 3-0 lead over Bulgaria.

Sakkari had to be patient to await the opening that would allow her to ensure that Greece claimed the tie win.

“I was a little nervous in the beginning,” said Sakkari. “Especially being 2-0 up in the tie, I knew my match was crucial to winning. She was very solid at first, but I found my game, found my serve and everything got better.

“[The United Cup format] is unusual but it’s very nice. We get to spend time together, watching each other, so we can learn a lot of things from each other. From the outside you see things differently.”

While Dimitar Kuzmanov registered Bulgaria’s first United Cup match win with a dominant performance against Greece’s Michail Pervolarakis, the mixed doubles would see the Greek’s star players return to round out the win in style.

Sakkari returned to the RAC Arena court to team up with World No 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas to defeat Gergana Topalova and Adrian Andreev 6-4, 6-4 in the mixed doubles match which gave Greece a 4-1 win.

WTA Finals 2022 winner Caroline Garcia started the 2023 season with a tie-clinching win over Argentina’s Nadia Podoroska.

Garcia put Podoroska away 6-2, 6-0 in just 64 minutes to give France an unassailable 3-0 lead.

“I felt very good,” said Garcia afterwards.

“It’s never easy to start a new season, and it’s a new format of competition.

“I wanted to play well for myself, to put my game together after a good few weeks of practice, but competition is always different.

“Obviously beyond that I wanted to help my team to win the tie, so I’m very happy with my performance.”

Garcia said it was good for France to defeat Argentina to get one back after the FIFA World Cup final result.

The Frenchwoman was also tickled at seeing her Argentinean coach wearing the Team France United Cup shirt.

“We all wanted to have our little revenge,” said Garcia. “But my coach [Juan Pablo Guzman], who is Argentinian, wearing the France T-shirt was pretty funny.”

Adrian Mannarino blew past Federico Coria 6-1, 6-0 to make it 4-0 to France and give them a shot at a shutout of Team Argentina in the mixed doubles.

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