Maria Sakkari's 2022 season on the WTA Hologic Tour was one of peaks and valleys. On one hand, the Greek star reached her best career ranking of No.3 and the biggest final of her career at Indian Wells. On the other hand, her inability to break through the mental barriers would make it the most challenging year of her career.
WTA Insider caught up with Sakkari to discuss her Netflix experience and why she had no reservations about letting the cameras into some of her most private and heartbreaking moments.
WTA Insider: How was your experience filming the show?
Sakkari: I think it was great. I believe it's great for our sport and our image. As a promotion it's unbelievable.
For me, they were very discreet. They would understand my schedule. At first some things were a little bit not familiar, but as the season was going on we got to know each other a little bit more because we had the same crews over and over again. So for me, it was a great experience and I would do it again next season for sure.
WTA Insider: Did you have any concerns with opening up your life and your team to the cameras?
Sakkari: I clicked with them and it was great. I think it's very important, the structure, each crew was following the same player in most of the tournaments. So then you were feeling like you can actually tell them what you want to do and what you don't want to do, what access you want to give them. I think that was the key, having a good relationship with them and having a good result at the end.
WTA Insider: What were the themes that they explored with you?
Sakkari: How I handle losses and how I overcome difficult situations and tough moments. Also how important it is to have the right people around you because I'm very close to my team. We wanted to show how I really am, how my environment is.
WTA Insider: Were there things about the tennis world that surprised the crew?
Sakkari: I'm sure they've seen things that they were shocked for sure. Of course, they have the experience from the Formula 1 documentary. It had 20 drivers. Every single driver is different, they have different personalities.
But now you have to deal with women and men in an environment that is over and over again every week. The ups and downs are very likely to happen. And I think that was something different that they were maybe not used to from Formula 1.
WTA Insider: Was there anything about the process that surprised you?
Sakkari: I was very happy with the way they were handling everything because tennis is a very different sport to any other sports. I'm sure that when they started with Formula 1, they found some things difficult, but then they had their routines and everything.
But tennis can be very complicated. As an example of myself, I played really well the first three months of the season, but then basically I did nothing. So for them, it was something. 'Wow, does that happen?'
WTA Insider: What do you hope viewers will take away from the first season?
Sakkari: I really hope people realize how tough tennis is, because I think that people are being very, very hard on athletes in general. I'm glad they're doing it in different sports because then the more people watch sports, the more they can understand how tough actually every single sport these.
I believe that tennis is one of the toughest sports. I think that's what people will realize, because it's not easy to play every single week and travel as much as we do.
And I also want people to see how my real character is. I don't think I faked any moment of my filming with them. So I believe that that's what's going to be shown.