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Maria Sakkari shares how Coco Gauff inspired her as she won a tennis tournament

Sakkari won the Abierto de Guadalajara, taking a second to thank Gauff.

Maria Sakkari won the Abierto de Guadalajara, earning her first WTA 1000 title. The Greek tennis player suffered a surprise loss at the US Open, a moment that impacted her concentration. After winning the match in Guadalajara, she reflected on some advice from Coco Gauff, and how it had helped her as she played.

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Sakkari and Gauff

Earlier this month, Gauff won the US Open and spoke about the pressure she felt when playing tennis. "Tennis pressure isn't real,” she said. "Not knowing where your next meal is going to come from or how you are going to pay your bills is real pressure and hardship.” Her words were inspiring for Sakkari, who was coming off of a tough season.

“I only had one goal this week: just to be happy. If you watched a couple of my matches, you saw me smiling more than usual on the court,” said Sakkari to WTA Insider.

“I really liked what Coco [Gauff] said at the US Open, about how other people have bigger problems than we have when we lose a tennis match, and she’s spot on. I kept thinking about that, and that gave me strength. At the end of the day, it’s just a tennis match. I’m healthy, and that’s the most important thing.”

Citi Open - Day 9©GettyImages
The two have played against each other on numerous occasions

Coco Gauff’s US Open win

For her part, Coco Gauff continues to celebrate. This year she won her first Grand Slam title and became the first American teen to win the U.S. Open since Serena Williams, her idol, did the same in 1999.

Earlier this month, Gauff had a private party with some of her closest friends and family to celebrate her win, wearing a pink dress for the occasion. “Coco and her friends and family were dancing and laughing all night,” said a source to Page Six. “Everyone was in really high spirits.”

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