Tennis has different rules than American football for a reason. No offense to football, but it’s supposed to be a brutish sport. Tennis is not. Tennis is a sport played with a high level of athleticism but also a sense of decorum. Maria Sakkari forgot about that for a second on Wednesday.
In Maria Sakkari‘s loss to Collins – Collins took the match somewhat surprisingly 6-4 6-2 – and down 2-1 in the second set, Sakkari was serving and her first serve went long. Collins reactively hit the ball back towards Sakkari and the Greek angrily smashed the ball into the court off the bounce and ball bounding quickly into the stands. Immediately knowing her mistake, Sakkari put a hand up as an apology.
But the incident did not stop there. As Sakkari bounced the new ball before hitting her second serve, Collins asked the chair umpire if the umpire had seen what happened. Maria Sakkari responded directly to Collins that the ball didn’t hit anyone and that the ball was “on the ground.” To this, Collins told Sakkari twice to, “Shut (her) mouth.”
Maria Sakkari should have known better than what she did on Wednesday
Sakkari then asked Collins, “What is your problem? I didn’t hit anyone.” Collins said, “You hit the ball into the stands, Maria.” And the conversation continued for a few seconds more before Sakkari hit her second serve.
Now, I completely understand getting upset when I am not playing tennis as well as I expect. I used to get very upset and, admittedly, would sometimes throw my racket in disgust towards the ground. But I still regret doing so and understand how stupid I must have looked.
But I was also never a professional and pros should understand even more they are under a microscope. When Maria Sakkari hit the ball in anger, she didn’t aim the ball at anyone, but she also couldn’t have known if someone would get hit. But that is a bit beside the point as well.
Where Sakkari was clearly wrong was in arguing with Collins because Collins was completely correct in pointing out to the umpire what had happened. Sakkari should have at least gotten a warning for her behavior, but that did not happen. Sakkari should have just maybe held her hand up in apology to the umpire and Collins as she did the stands instead of getting into an argument.
I like Maria Sakkari as a player, She plays with a lot of energy and is good in interviews off the court. But her loss to Collins was a bit fitting on Wednesday because Sakkari deserved to lose because of her play and her behavior.