Maria Sakkari stuns Collins to reach first career final in San Jose

Maria Sakkari of Greece produced a sensational performance to beat Danielle Collins and reach her first WTA career final at the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose.

After impressively beating Venus Williams in the quarterfinals, the 23-year-old Greek had to invoke her ‘Spartan Spirit’ to bounce back from a set and 1-4 down, stunning America’s Collins 3-6, 7-5, 6-2 to advance to the final.

“I think it’s part of my character and the way I grew up playing – I like drama,” Sakkari said. “When things get tighter, I’m more used to it. It’s in my character, Spartan.”

Sakkari’s impressive run this week has guaranteed her a spot back into the Top 40, and with a win in today’s final she’ll be back in the WTA Top 35.

She will face Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu, who also came from a set down to beat Elise Mertens of Belgium in an earlier match.

Mihaela Buzarnescu came through against Elise Mertens.

Buzarnescu claimed a 4-6, 6-3, 6-1 victory to reach her career-first Premier-level final. The win will also see her rise to a new career-high ranking of world No.21 when the new WTA rankings are released on Monday. Should she lift the title she could go a step highter to make a Top 20 debut.

“I think what I’m most proud of from my week so far is that my ranking will be higher next week,” Buzarnescu admitted. “That’s a big achievement which I’m really proud of. If I will get Top 20 – like my goal was since I was 14 – that’s going to be an amazing feeling.”

The final will be live at San Jose on Sunday from 10pm WAT.

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