No.4 seed Maria Sakkari defeated home favorite Heather Watson as first-round action continued indoors at the Nature Valley Open.
WTA Staff
June 12, 2019

NOTTINGHAM, Great Britian - Former quarterfinalist Maria Sakkari is back to her winning ways at the Nature Valley Open.

The No.4 seed got her tournament off to a perfect, if delayed, start on Wednesday with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Great Britain's Heather Watson. 

"I had some good results on grass a few years ago. I really like playing on grass, it's a very special season for everyone - I'm very happy to be back in Nottingham after two years," Sakkari said.

"The weather hasn't been great, but I'm sure it's going to turn around and we'll get some good days on the grass."

Sakkari needed just under 90 minutes to dispatch the former British No.1 indoors on hard courts, as the tournament has been ravaged by rain over the first two days.


She broke in the final game of the opening set to take the lead, and later came from a break down in the second set to win five of the last six games. 

"Nottingham is a very nice event and I really like the city," said Sakkari, who reached the quarterfinals in 2017 before losing to eventual champion Donna Vekic.

"I really like to play here. If we get to play outside, it's going to be a very nice atmosphere.I'm playing good, I'm feeling good mentally, and I'm on a good way. With that mentality, it can take me far, maybe in some of the tournaments."

Up next, Sakkari will face Serbia's Ivana Jorovic or Australia's Ellen Perez, due to play later on Wednesday.

"For Jorovic, we've practiced a couple of times, but I don't know her really well," Sakkari said. "Perez is a lefty, Australia, and she's talented. I've seen her in a couple of tournaments, but I don't know much about her.

"Everyone is very good and very dangerous at this tournament. [Either way], it's going to be a tough match."