Iga Swiatek charges into Indian Wells final

League: Tennis

Posted on: 16 Mar, 2024 at 07:13 AM

Credit: Andy Abeyta/The Desert Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

Top-seeded Iga Swiatek of Poland extended her dominant run at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., routing 31st-seeded Marta Kostyuk of Ukraine 6-2, 6-1 in the semifinals on Friday.

In the final on Sunday, Swiatek will oppose ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece, who downed third-seeded Coco Gauff of the United States 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-2. It will be a rematch of the 2022 Indian Wells final, which Swiatek won 6-4, 6-1.

Swiatek hasn't lost a set through five matches at the tournament, though her quarterfinal was shortened when Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki was forced to retire in the second set due to a foot injury.

Swiatek has won 55 of the 72 games she has played during the current fortnight.

The Friday match was more of the same, as Swiatek never faced a break point, converted five of her six break opportunities and won 83 percent of her first-serve points.

"It was the cleanest match I played here," Swiatek said. "I didn't really have any moment today in the match where I didn't feel confident."

Since getting upset in the third round of the Australian Open, Swiatek has been nearly unbeatable. She won the championship at Doha, Qatar, then got to the semifinals at Dubai, United Arab Emirates, before arriving in Southern California. Her match record since leaving Melbourne is 12-1.

In the second semifinal, Sakkari won the first set after a rain delay, and Gauff was serving to open the second set when the match was halted a second time due to rain.

Sakkari had three match points with Gauff serving at 4-5 in the second set but failed to convert them. Gauff then needed four set points in the tiebreaker.

Following an exchange of breaks to start the third set, Sakkari immediately broke again, and she closed the match with one more break.

"I don't want to disrespect Coco but it would've been amazing if this match was over an hour ago," Sakkari said postmatch, referring to her second-set stumble. "I'm gonna take this win even though it was in three sets.

"That was an amazing win. Coco is such an amazing opponent. She's incredible. She fights every point. I'm just so happy I'm in the final once again here."

--Field Level Media