Indian Wells WTA semifinal preview: Halep vs. Swiatek, Badosa vs. Sakkari

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Simona Halep, Iga Swiatek, Paula Badosa and Maria Sakkari are the last four women standing at the 2022 BNP Paribas Open. Let’s preview both semifinals that are scheduled for the Friday night session at Indian Wells, starting at 18:00 local time.

Simona Halep Iga Swiatek Indian Wells

Simona Halep [24] versus Iga Swiatek [3]

Simona Halep and Iga Swiatek come into the BNP Paribas Open semifinal in Indian Wells having played each other in slam quarterfinals once each of the last three years. Swiatek beat Halep 6-1 6-2 on her road to the 2020 Roland Garros title. Most recently, they played at the 2021 Australian Open. Halep dropped the first set, but won 3-6 6-1 6-4. The Romanian does not take this upcoming match lightly, and knows she will have to fight for it.

Halep told the media, “It’s going to be a little more difficult. She’s very solid. She’s constant. It will be a tough battle.” As the 2015 champion in the desert, Halep knows what it takes to win here: “I think who adjusts herself to these conditions has a big plus. I always played well here, so I like these conditions. If you get the rhythm, I think everyone can play good tennis here. The air helps a lot. You have extra power when you hit.”

Still early in her career at only 20 years old, Swiatek is in the process of developing herself and finding what works best for her. At this stage she said, “I felt really comfortable. I’m also trying to get some fun as well from matches which are tight. Before, when I felt stressed, I couldn’t really make that fun. But right now I’m more focused on finding solutions and I want every match to be a lesson for me.”

Looking forward to the semifinal, Swiatek was careful not to get her mind set on what might be coming her way: “Honestly, I mean, I don’t know what to expect. I’m not expecting anything. I just want me to be focused on myself and my game and I want to continue what I’ve done throughout the whole tournament.”

Paula Badosa Maria Sakkari Indian Wells

Paula Badosa [5] versus Maria Sakkari [6]

Badosa and Sakkari have only met once on the match court, and it was not long ago. The two played each other at the 2021 WTA Finals in Guadalajara. Badosa won their match 7-6(4) 6-4.

The Spaniard, defending her title, is not taking the strong run for granted. She told media, “if you asked me ten days ago, I wouldn’t imagine I’d be in the semifinals again. I didn’t play well one month ago […] I wasn’t expecting to be back in the semifinals and playing again this level, to be honest. I’m really happy and I’m really grateful that I’m here again.”

Badosa knows tennis fans will be in for a treat in her match against Sakkari. Asked to recall their previous match, she said, “She hits very hard the ball. She moves well. As well, she’s a fighter. I really see sometimes myself in her. I think we play quite similar, or we try to do the same things. I remember it was really tough.”

Sakkari shared Badosa’s sentiment. “Obviously she has been playing very good and she likes the conditions here. I mean, winning last year, making the semis now, it’s a lot of matches in a row winning in this tournament […] I know I can beat her, but I can lose. She’s a top-ten player for the last six or seven months. I think it’s going to be a very tough match for both of us.”

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