Greece Ease Past Egypt
Greece’s Fed Cup campaign got off to a good start, as Maria Sakkari and Valentini Grammatikopoulou led their team to a win over Egypt in Athens..
The match began with Greece’s number two, 21-year-old Valentini Grammatikopoulou (world number 171) playing against unranked Dona Abo Habaga of Egypt. Grammatikopoulou won in straight sets, 6-2 6-3, to give Greece a 1-0 lead. With this win, the Greek improved her Fed Cup singles record to 7-0.
After the match, the youngster from Kilkis in Macedonia thanked the Athenian crowd for their support. “I am very happy that I competed on a court that was filled with people. I want to thank the Greek fans,” said Grammatikopoulou.
Grammatikopoulou also spoke about how close-knit the Greek team is “The wins are for all of the team. We are very close-knit. We are waiting for the second win from Maria,” said Grammatikopoulou.
The second win would come from Maria, as Greek number one Maria Sakkari (world number 49) destroyed Egyptian number one Sandra Samir (world number 397) 6-0 6-0, in just 53 minutes. With this win, the 22-year-old clinched the win for Greece, putting her country up 2-0 overall.
Sakkari spoke to the Greek press after the match. “I was very nervous. I didn’t sleep the last two days. It had been a while since I had played in Athens, from when the challengers took place at OAKA. I am very happy with our team’s victory. It is a success for all of the team. I am always willing to do all that is necessary to strengthen my country. Thank you to everyone who came to watch the matches. We also need them with us the next few days. I want to thank my family and my people for the support,” said Sakkari.
Although the win was guaranteed for Greece, the doubles match still had to be played. Greek captain Anastasios Bavelas chose Grammatikopoulou and Sakkari to play for the doubles point. Surprisingly, they would fall to Egypt’s Sandra Samir and Rana Sherif Ahmed in three sets, 6-1 2-6 6-3. Despite the doubles loss, Greece still came out on top 2-1 thanks to the two singles victories.
Greece will play their last group match on Friday against Denmark, once again on the clay courts of the Tatoi Club in Athens. Both Greece and Denmark have secured their spots in Saturday’s promotional playoffs, and this match will determine the winner of Group A, who will get an easier draw for Saturday. It should be noted that Denmark will be without world number two Caroline Wozniacki, as the Dane is not competing for her national team this year. This is good news for the young Greek team, as Wozniacki is the only Danish player currently ranked in the top 500.