Maria Sakkari in the 2021 Roland Garros quarter-final, Paris, France
PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 09: Maria Sakkari of Greece returns a ball in her Quarter Final match against Iga Swiatek of Poland during day eleven of the 2021 French Open at Roland Garros on June 09, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Tnani Badreddine/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Tennis | Indian Wells 2024 | Maria Sakkari searches for revenge over Swiatek in Indian Wells final

By Tony Fairbairn

  • Iga Swiatek [1] v Maria Sakkari [9]
  • H2H: Sakkari leads 3-2
INDIAN WELLS, USA – Maria Sakkari will look for Indian Wells revenge on Iga Swiatek as they meet in the final in California for the second time in three years.

 

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Iga Swiatek [1] v Maria Sakkari [9] H2H & Match Fundamentals

Iga Swiatek continued to establish her dominance in the semi-finals, dropping three games to Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk. The world number one has been in imperious form since her shock defeat at the Australian Open to Linda Noskova and now Swiatek aims for a second Indian Wells title in three years. Standing in Swiatek’s way is the player the Pole beat to win her first Indian Wells title in the form of Maria Sakkari as the Greek edged out Coco Gauff in three sets to continue her resilient run in California and reach her second Indian Wells final.

Iga Swiatek [1] v Maria Sakkari [9] H2H: Sakkari leads 3-2   
Indian Wells  2024 Indian Wells, USA   
Hard (O) Prize Money: $585,000/$1,100,000
First on Stadium One (18:00 GMT) Sky/Now TV <- Subscription Required

Swiatek has cruised into the semi-finals with ease with minimum fuss as she is yet to drop a set in California. Meanwhile Sakkari has had to battle her way through every round and has displayed her resilience to get to the final in what has been the tougher section of the draw.

Iga Swiatek [1] route to the final

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R1: BYE

R2: Danielle Collins 6-3 6-0

R3: Linda Noskova [26] 6-4 6-0

R4: Yulia Putintseva 6-1 6-2

QF: Caroline Wozniacki [WC] 6-4 1-0 RET

SF: Marta Kostyuk [31] 6-2 6-1

Maria Sakkari [9] route to the final

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R1: BYE

R2: Diana Schnaider 5-7 6-4 6-0

R3: Caroline Garcia [20] 6-3 6-4

R4: Diane Parry 6-2 3-6 6-3

QF: Emma Navarro [23] 5-7 6-2 6-4

SF: Coco Gauff [3] 6-4 6-7(5) 6-2

 

Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2024)

H2H: Iga Swiatek (WR 1) Maria Sakkari (WR 9)  
Tournament Previous Best Champion (2022) Final (2022)    
1st Serve Return Points Won % 40.8 36.8
Return Points Won % 48.5 42.2
Break Point Conversion % 47.4 47.5
Break Point Saved % 68.8 55
Total Points Won % 55.1 50.4

Swiatek has been the more efficient player on serve but Sakkari has more than held her own when it comes to converting break point opportunities which is what makes this final fascinating.

 

 

Playing Styles and Prediction

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Swiatek continues to establish her dominance at the top of the rankings as she has cruised past the opposition to reach her second final of the season.

It has been a successful tournament for the world number one so far as her rivals have failed to keep up with the pace Swiatek has set over the last ten days and now the Pole will look to capture her second Indian Wells title.

Speaking ahead of the final Swiatek admitted she was pleased with her performance in the semi-final and spoke about her mental approach heading into Sunday’s showdown.

“I think [the semifinal] was the cleanest match I played here,” Swiatek told the WTA website.

“The focus level was high throughout the whole match and I didn’t have any doubts. so I’m happy with the performance. I wouldn’t say those thoughts [about winning the title] don’t come up, because they do. The main question is what are you going to do with that? If you’re going to really focus on it or you’re really going to take it step by step and remember that you still have work to do. So I think I’m pretty good at, you know, doing this second thing.”

In the final Swiatek will take on Sakkari who has been resilient and found a way to win in order to reach her second Indian Wells final.

The Greek has been thriving under her new coaching partnership and whatever the outcome in the final will look to maintain that standard throughout the season.

After her semi-final victory, Sakkari spoke about how much she has improved over the last few weeks and previewed her final with Swiatek.

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“We always say in tennis one day can change everything, but a month ago I was in Abu Dhabi, I couldn’t hit a ball over the net, and now I’m just here in one of the biggest tournaments playing another final,” Sakkari explained to the WTA website.

“Those are lessons and those are things that you have to just accept the more you’re on the tour that you’re going to have some bad times, and then things can really change in a week.

“I’m just very happy that this has been the week that things have started changing, because you know how much I love this place, and I told myself that I want to stay here as long as I can, and here we are, staying until Sunday.

“It’s actually pretty crazy that last time we played was two years ago. I would say we are very different two years ago both of us. That’s when her streak started, or a few weeks before that. Having that lead [in the head-to-head] doesn’t really mean anything, because she’s the best player right now in the world.

“I’m just going to try and keep that lead and stay two wins ahead of her, but it’s just going to be very, very tricky.”

Swiatek will look to use her forehand to move Sakkari around the baseline, therefore creating space for the Pole to hit winners into.

Sakkari will aim to target the Pole’s backhand as she will need to maintain a consistent level on serve.

This will be a tough test for Swiatek but the Pole’s efficiency and energy should prove too much for a slightly fatigues Sakkari.

Prediction: Swiatek in three sets.  

 

 

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