Swiatek storms past Sakkari to win second Indian Wells title

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Swiatek storms past Sakkari to win second Indian Wells title

World No 1 Iga Swiatek cruised to a second Indian Wells title and eighth WTA 1000 victory of her career as she beat Maria Sakkari 6-4 6-0 following a ruthless finish.

Swiatek also defeated Sakkari in the 2022 BNP Paribas Open final, winning 6-4 6-1 on that occasion, and she rushed through the second set on Sunday as well to claim her second title of the year, after the Qatar Open in February.

The Pole, who has lost only two of her 10 WTA 1000 finals, raced into a 3-0 lead in the first set before being pegged back but she broke her Greek opponent again in the 10th game, clinching the set with a rasping forehand down the line.

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Swiatek sends a cracking forehand up the line to win the first set against Sakkari at Indian Wells

Swiatek, the first No 1 seed to win at Indian Wells since Victoria Azarenka in 2012, was unstoppable in the second set, breaking to love to wrap up the match, and will now look to add to her trophy haul at the Miami Open, which runs from March 19-31, live on Sky Sports.

She said: “I want to thank my team. I don’t even know what for! Every little thing that we work on works on the court. We’re going to celebrate! Thank you for making this feel like home.”

Iga Swiatek (Associated Press)

Image: Swiatek has won eight of her 10 WTA 1000 finals

Swiatek extends excellent record in finals

Swiatek did not drop a set in the tournament and lost just 21 games across her six matches.

Her record in all WTA finals is 19-4, with the 22-year-old winning six in a row since being beaten by Aryna Sabalenka in a three-setter at the Madrid Open in May 2023.

Sakkari was bidding to win her second WTA 1000 event, after the 2023 Guadalajara Open in Mexico, but was outgunned in California as Swiatek extended her lead at the top of the world rankings.

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Watch the moment Swiatek won her second Indian Wells title

Swiatek and Sakkari are now locked at 3-3 in career meetings, with Swiatek winning the last three in straight sets – twice in the Indian Wells final and also in the Doha semi-finals in 2022.

Sakkari said after her defeat: “Sorry I couldn’t put up a better fight. Credit to Iga. You’re an amazing player and an incredible champion. I’m really hoping we can play a lot more finals.”

Martina Navratilova, speaking to Sky Sports Tennis:

“Iga might not be the quickest player out there but she’s the most complete player out there and it really shows up on slow courts like this.”

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Tim Henman, speaking to Sky Sports Tennis:

“When a lot of players go down the line it looks like a high-risk strategy, but Iga is still playing with that element of spin, therefore she’s got that net clearance and she is able to open up her opponents.

“To be able to go down both wings and dictate by going cross-court or down the line is a great combination and why she’s having the success she is.”

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