Winners and Sinners of the week that was


WINNERS

MARIA SAKKARI
It could just as easily have been Stefanos Tsitsipas’ name here, as they both managed to win at the Morocco (Sakkari) and Estoril (Tsitsipas) Opens, becoming the first Greek male-female duo to accomplish such a feat at the same time. This was the first WTA title in Sakkari’s career, which she celebrated wildly with her family and the local Greek community that supported her efforts. After the game the young athlete pointed out that it was the “delicious food” they made for her the night before that led her to success. Tsitsipas, on the other hand, was able to secure his third ATP title, in what has been a very productive season for him, as he maintains his position within the world Top 10.

SOKRATIS PAPASTATHOPOULOS
Even though all hopes for a position within the top four of the Premier League have been lost for Arsenal, they can still participate in the world’s best club competition by winning the Europa League. And that’s all due to the fine work they have done to progress so far, as they are just one good result away from making it to the final in Baku. Sokratis and the “gunners” have been one of the favourites to win the tournament from the start, but they have done well to make it this far, knocking out clubs such as Sporting Lisbon, Stade Rennes and Napoli. The Greek centre-back has been an integral part of the squad throughout their campaign.

OLYMPIACOS SOCCER TEAM
Yes, this is definitely PAOK’s season, as they completed the league undefeated while they stand on the precipice of winning the double. However it is definitely worth taking a moment to note the excellent season Olympiacos have had and the incredible maturity with which their fans, the younger generation of whom are not used to spending more than one season without celebrating a trophy, have embraced this squad. Of course this is all credit to the hard work of manager Pedro Martins and his players, as they played very attractive football, more specifically in the latter part of the season, with the team scoring 71 goals (the most of all in Greece), while remaining undefeated for over 10 games.

READ MORE: Karate’s popularity on the rise among Greek Australians

SINNERS

WELLINGTON PHOENIX
It was incredibly disappointing to see the New Zealand club fall in such a way against Melbourne Victory, as the 3-1 loss didn’t do them any justice. In what turned out to be Mark Rudan’s final game at the helm, Phoenix proved too inexperienced to handle the stress that came with an elimination play-off, as they were easy prey at the hands of their opponents. That’s not to say they didn’t put up a fight, but it seemed as though they were not able to come up with a way to deal with the strategy of the home side, who after scoring that crucial first goal seemed comfortable to just give them the ball and wait to strike on the counter. Better luck next time, Phoenix!

WARREN JOYCE
The announcement of Melbourne City’s decision to not renew the British manager’s contract came as no surprise. Under Warren Joyce, the “citizens” have shown great instability in their performance, while his decision to remove players of great worth from the club, such as Tim Cahill and more recently Bruno Fornaroli, had left fans with a bitter taste. Hopefully the next season can find Melbourne City with someone on their bench who will have the full support of both the players and supporters in order for the club to reach greater heights.

GIORGOS VASILAKOPOULOS
We may have mentioned this name in the past. With the situation in Greek basketball now reaching crucial levels (with Olympiacos about to get relegated to the A2 division if referee Anastopoulos gets selected for their next game against Promitheas), the man in charge of the Hellenic Basketball Federation still remains nowhere to be seen, instead threatening to take legal action against the Sports Minister Giorgos Vasiliadis who named him as the person responsible for the situation escalating to this point. Olympiacos have continuously showed their discontent for the way things stand, while Panathinaikos are claiming the “reds” need to follow the guidelines. Meanwhile, the Greek Federation, who should be the mediator between the two great forces of the sport, remains nowhere to be seen.



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