After a serving of cake with her teammates, Greece’s Maria Sakkari celebrated her 26th birthday with an emphatic 6-1 6-2 win over Nina Stojanovic of Serbia in the second round of the Tokyo Games on Monday.
Sakkari, born on July 25, said the win was one of the best presents she could have given herself.
“To spend my birthday here (at the Games), I don’t know if it will happen again in my life,” she told reporters.
“It was pretty unique and very nice to be here and celebrate with my colleagues and the rest of the Greek team. They had a really nice surprise for me yesterday, and it was very nice of them. It feels very special.”
Sakkari, ranked 19th in the world, said her Greek teammates had surprised her with cake, an unexpected treat during an Olympics held under strict coronavirus pandemic restrictions.
“Nothing fancy but, you know, the best they could under the circumstances. But it was really nice of them and I really enjoyed it.”
Sakkari said she was also looking forward to competing in the mixed doubles with compatriot and men’s world number four, Stefanos Tsitsipas.
“We know each other really well … and we are both really pumped to play together. Of course, I cannot predict that we will get a medal. We will try our best and I think we give ourselves the best chance we can.”