Badosa and Sakkari advance to BNP Paribas Open semifinals

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Paula Badosa and Maria Sakkari completed the semifinal field at the BNP Paribas Open by winning their Thursday’s quarterfinals to join Simona Halep and Iga Swiatek in the final four.

Paula Badosa Indian Wells 2022
Paula Badosa of Spain in action during the quarterfinal of the 2022 BNP Paribas Open WTA 1000 tennis tournament

Defending champion at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Paula Badosa, beat Veronika Kudermetova [21] 6-3 6-2. Kudermetova took a medical time out in the match, but it was not immediately clear what exactly she was struggling with. She continued the match, pushing Badosa back with a strong serve, but it was not enough.

Badosa had won the mental game early in the match. As she explained to press later: “That’s what I want to show my opponents at the beginning always of the matches, that if you want to win me, you have to stay there three hours and play very well. That’s a little bit, yeah, what I want to show them. Of course, I want to play aggressive, to find the balance of aggressive and I’m a good mover. I know I’m very tall, very big. Maybe I don’t move as well as other players. But I think I really improved on that.”

Maria Sakkari Indian Wells 2022
Maria Sakkari of Greece in action during the quarterfinal of the 2022 BNP Paribas Open WTA 1000 tennis tournament

Maria Sakkari [6] defeated Elena Rybakina [17] 7-5 6-4 in a long 1:38 hour match. Rybakina took a 4-1 lead in the first set, but Sakkari was able to claw her way back. It took her some time to adjust to her first match on that court: “I think it was because I was playing for the first time on Stadium 1, new scenery, I never experienced going deep into this tournament. It was something new for me. It’s actually exciting to have new things when you’re 26 years old, new experiences. But I think it’s normal sometimes to be a little bit more nervous than the usual. I was very happy with the way I handled the situation and the way I came back.”

In the past, Sakkari might have had a harder time mentally coming back from such a start. The Greek told media after, “I’ve also improved in that because I see that I’m actually very calm and very confident that it’s only a break. Okay, if someone serves lights out, it’s too good. I still have the first set, two more sets to go. That doesn’t really matter.”

Badosa and Sakkari face each other in the semifinal Friday.

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