Greek teenager Stefanos Sakellaridis has caused one of the biggest upsets at the United Cup, downing a player ranked more than six times higher than him.
The 18-year-old, currently the world No.830, was swamped by his Greek teammates after his stunning 5-7, 6-1, 6-3 win over Belgium’s Zizou Bergs, the world No.129.
Making the achievement even more remarkable, Sakellaridis was substituted into the match at the last minute after teammate Michail Pervolarakis was forced to withdraw.
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Following the biggest win of his career, Sakellaridis revealed that he’d made preparations to play after learning yesterday that Pervolarakis might pull out.
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”I was getting prepared because I knew that my teammate has an injury and I might play,” he said of his late call-up.
Sakellaridis’ upset win is made even more incredible by the fact that he is currently without a racquet sponsor and was close to running out of strings this week, according to tennis commentator Robbie Koenig.
There were stirring on-court scenes following the 18-year-old’s win as he was mobbed by his Greek teammates, including world No.4 Stefanos Tsitsipas.
“Of course (the team’s reactions helped the win). You can see that the team chemistry is unbelievable,” Sakellaridis said of the reception.
“It’s a huge boost for every one of us to play much better. When you feel good, you play good.”
Sakellaridis’ victory sealed the tie against Belgium for Greece, who now advances to the Perth city finals.
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