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Greek superstar Maria Sakkari has already been the definition of fitness goals three weeks into 2021, maxing out her two weeks in Melbourne quarantine by unveiling a workout series entitled "Sparring with a Spartan."

Armed with boundless energy, the world No. 22 isn't opposed to pushing herself even farther off the court this season, but don't sign her up for a marathon just yet.

"I think what Caroline Wozniacki did was unreal," she tells Baseline of the former No. 1 who famously ran the New York City Marathon in 2014. "She was, and still is, a very good athlete. I could never do what she did. It must have taken so much time out of her schedule and require a lot of running during a tournament. I think she was already fit, so that obviously helped a lot."

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Sakkari, who prefers bodyweight and flexibility exercises, is yet to find her runner's high, which is bad news for her given her fitness coach George Panagiotopoulos is a former track and field athlete.

"When I’m in Greece, I end up running a lot, which I don’t like, to be honest," she says. "It’s so tough, and I had to do so much of it in the off-season, and again during the lockdown last spring. At first, I did some flexibility and mobility workouts, and then we started exercising more intensely in the parks and places like that. It was a lot of running after that."


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What keeps the 25-year-old on the move? To paraphrase Elle Woods, it all comes down those happy-making endorphins.

"It's something that not only makes my body feel nice, but also my soul," she says. "I feel very good both during and after a workout, which is the most important thing."

Sakkari enjoyed a major breakthrough at the 2020 Australian Open when she reached the second week of a Grand Slam tournament for the first time. Already a semifinalist to start the new season in Abu Dhabi, she will begin in Melbourne at the Grampians Trophy WTA 500, a tournament exclusively for hard quarantined players.