Indian Wells WTA final preview: Iga Swiatek vs. Maria Sakkari

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Iga Swiatek [3] will face off with Maria Sakkari [6] for the championship at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. Between these two, there’s even more on the line: the winner of the match will take the No.2 ranking alongside the WTA 1000 event title.

Iga Swiatek
Iga Swiatek of Poland in action during the semifinal of the 2022 BNP Paribas Open WTA 1000 tennis tournament

For Swiatek, this would be the fifth career title. To get to the final, Swiatek spent over nine hours on the court, fighting her way past a tough cadre of opponents, including Angelique Kerber, Madison Keys, and Simona Halep. She stands to become the only woman in the last 25 years to win five or more titles before turning 21 years old.

Maria Sakkari has spent less than seven hours on the court. Among others, she had to defeat Elena Rybakina, Petra Kvitova, and Paula Badosa to make the final. This is her fourth appearance at Indian Wells. She reached her best result here during her debut appearance in 2018. She was defeated in the fourth round by eventual champion Naomi Osaka. Going into the final, her best hard court result so far has been as runner-up in St. Petersburg 2022, Ostrava 2021, and San Jose 2018.

Maria Sakkari Iga Swiatek
Maria Sakkari of Greece & Iga Swiatek of Poland in action during the first round-robin match at the 2021 Akron WTA Finals Guadalajara WTA tennis tournament

Sakkari leads their head-to-head 3:1. Swiatek won their last match 6-4 6-3, this year in the Doha semifinal. Sakkari won the previous three matches each in two sets, all played in 2021.

Looking ahead to the final, Swiatek said, “matches against [Maria] are always really physical. And I don’t know how I’m going to use the experiences that I had in Doha against her in these conditions because it’s pretty different.”

Maria Sakkari Indian Wells
Maria Sakkari of Greece before the semifinal of the 2022 BNP Paribas Open WTA 1000 tennis tournament

Sakkari knows not to expect an easy match. She told media, “obviously we know that she has been playing very, very good the last, since the beginning of the year, I would say. She’s one of the most consistent players this season and she has a lot of confidence.”

The Greek is not discouraged by their most recent match and has nothing but kind things to say about her opponent. She told media, “I really respect her and I really like her because she’s a lovely girl and she’s very nice and whatever she has achieved she really deserves it. But, on the other hand, I just have full faith and a lot of confidence on my game and on myself right now.”

The two will play each other Sunday at 13:00 local time.

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