Iga Swiatek tops Maria Sakkari for second Indian Wells title

League: Tennis

Posted on: 17 Mar, 2024 at 11:16 PM

Credit: Taya Gray/The Desert Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

No. 1 seed Iga Swiatek of Poland needed just 68 minutes to cruise past ninth-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-4, 6-0 and win the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday in Indian Wells, Calif.

It marked the second time that Swiatek, ranked No. 1 in the world, and Sakkari met in the final of the WTA 1000 event. In 2022, Swiatek had a similarly easy time in defeating Sakkari 6-4, 6-1.

Now, the 22-year-old has claimed her second Indian Wells title and her eighth career WTA 1000 victory to go with four Grand Slams.

Swiatek did not drop a set and lost only 21 total games throughout her run at Indian Wells. After Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki retired during her quarterfinal match, Swiatek swept past Ukrainian No. 31 seed Marta Kostyuk 6-2, 6-1.

"I'm really proud of myself," Swiatek said post-match. "I mean, even though this tournament looked like, the scores, maybe I had everything under control, it wasn't from the beginning to the end so easy. So I'm happy I could improve during the tournament. I felt really good on the last two matches, big amount of confidence."

Sunday, Swiatek won 22 of her 29 first-service points (75.9 percent) and converted five of eight break points against Sakkari. She also won more than half of her first-return points (15 of 27, 55.6 percent) and her second-return points (10 of 17, 58.8 percent).

The first set was tied at 4 before Swiatek switched into high gear and won eight consecutive games to cap the tournament.

Sakkari, 28, came up short of her second career WTA 1000 triumph. After winning the Guadalajara Open last year in her second final appearance, she couldn't replicate that success in California against Swiatek, but it did not have her down.

"I just loved every minute of it and hopefully I can come back stronger next time," Sakkari said.

Sakkari won a healthy 11 of 20 first-service points in the first set but just one of seven in the second set as Swiatek got on her roll.

--Field Level Media