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Swiatek Wins Second Indian Wells Title

Mar 19th 2024

Swiatek subdues Sakkari 6-4, 6-0 for second Indian Wells title 

The last time they played was two years ago in the final at Indian Wells. Iga Swiatek from Poland was victorious on that day and went on to win the Miami Open two weeks later becoming the youngest player at age twenty, to win the Sunshine Double. While Maria Sakkari from Greece had led the head-to-head 3-2, that loss in straights would have weighed heavy.

Swiatek, the world #1 and four-time grand slam champion, was seeking her second title in the desert, seventh at the 1000 level and nineteenth overall. Sakkari currently ranked #9, was seeking her third title and second at this level having won the WTA 1000 event in Guadalajara, Mexico last fall. 

The twenty-eight-year-old from Athens with a 10/4 win/loss record this season and renowned coach David Witt in her camp, is reascending the rankings having achieved a career-high of #3 in March of 2022.

Swiatek won the toss and elected to serve. She gifted two unforced errors including a double fault but held to 30 while Sakkari opened with a double fault and dumped serve when she overcooked a forehand.

Image Credit: AFP

Swiatek struck two consecutive winners and held at love to consolidate the break while Sakkari struggled; though she made 7/10 first serves, she faced two deuce points before getting on the board.

Swiatek surprisingly committed five unforced errors the last two off the forehand, to give back the break. Sakkari playing with more aggression and positivity, consolidated the break to level at 3-3 despite missing 4/5 first serves.

Swiatek made 4/4 first serves including an ace out wide and held at love for 4-3 while Sakkari serving with new balls, made 3/4 first serves including an ace up the tee, and held at love to level.

Swiatek struck the ball with conviction and accuracy held easily for 5-4 with her second ace. Sakkari serving to level succumbed to her opponent’s relentless pressure and quickly faced triple set point following three consecutive backhand errors. While she saved two, she could not escape the inevitable as the Pole secured the set with an extraordinary inside-out forehand.

Swiatek served first in the second and with a crisp crosscourt backhand from the forecourt, held to 15 while Sakkari missed 3/4 first serves, faced triple break point, and dropped serve.

Swiatek missed 4/6 first serves but with a stunning crosscourt backhand pass, consolidated the break for 3-0. Sakkari opened the fourth with a netted forehand and as the unforced errors continued to mount, dug a deeper hole with another netted backhand to drop serve.  

Swiatek donated another double fault but with two consecutive groundstroke winners, consolidated the break for a commanding 5-0 lead. Sakkari serving to stay in the match soon faced triple match point and conceded it with a mishit forehand. 

It was an unfortunate ending to a match that had reached a competitive level midway through the opening set. The world #1 was dialed in from the start and remained steadfast even after relinquishing the lead in the first set. The twenty-two-year-old and reigning French Open champion finished with two aces, two double faults and won 76% of first and 64% of second serve points.

She was equally formidable on return, winning 56% of first and 59% of second serve return points. She saved 1/2 break points while converting 5/8 and won twenty-five more points than her opponent (56/31). Winning her seventh WTA 1000 level title under sunny skies, she will travel to south Florida with the Sunshine Double once again in play.