Iga Swiatek and Maria Sakkari have booked their place in the 2022 Indian Wells women’s final. Both players had to defeat top-ranked players to get to this level. Maria Sakkari made it to the biggest final of her career following her victory over reigning champion, Paula Badosa. While Iga will be hoping to add a third WTA 1000 title to her collection. 

Iga Swiatek’s Race To The Final

The Polish player is having a magnificent start to the new season. She’s currently on a ten-game winning streak, dating back to Doha where she won her second WTA 1000 title. World no.4 earned her place in the finals after her gritty win over Simona Halep, 7-6, 6-4. Facing a breakpoint in each set of her semifinal, Iga had similar issues at the start of the tournament. 

She had to put up an intense fight in her first three matches, being a set down in each of them. A rather easy quarterfinal match saw her share the court with Madison Keys whom she displaced in less than an hour with a 6-1, 6-0 scoreline. In just her second appearance in Tennis Paradise, the 20-year-old is guaranteed a top-three spot on the women’s ranking despite the outcome of the match. 

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Sakkari Ends Badosa’s Title Defense

The Grecian player made the biggest final of her career by dumping Paula Badosa out of the competition.  This makes it her second final of the new season, having reached the final at St. Petersburg earlier this year. Her momentum has been tough to overlook as she has made seven semifinals in her last 10 tournaments. 

Sakkari took advantage of a struggling Badosa in the first set, hitting 11 winners to win the first set 6-2. A much more composed Paula came into the second set with a different mentality. She got over 70% of her serves compared to the first set where she had less than 55%. The set swung the way of Badosa; she broke Sakkari twice to lead 4-2. Eventually winning the rest of her service games, she closed out the set 6-4 to set up a deciding third set. 

Sakkari raced to a 2-0 lead in the final set, thanks to her continuously hitting aggressively from the baseline. The defending champion was unable to make a real difference as Sakkari blew past her to win the set 6-1. Sakkari acknowledges how well rounded Iga is as a tennis player, saying she has to be more confident going into the final match on Sunday.