Paula Badosa ran her win streak at Indian Wells to 10-0 after thumping Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 6-2 to reach her second straight semifinal in the desert.
The defending champion was 0-3 against Kudermetova, but quickly got on top 3-1 and that set the tone.
“I think a little bit the key was to serve well, as well, to attack her second serve,” Badosa said. “I’ve played her three times, and I always was doing the same mistakes. I didn’t want to do it for a fourth time in a row.
“I wanted to dominate with my forehand. Maybe not to let her a lot to open me the court. At the beginning maybe I was hitting a little bit more harder in the middle and then when I have my opportunity to move her. When she was moving me, try to put always one ball more was important as well.”
Badosa will now meet Maria Sakkari who began the day with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Elena Rybakina. Behind her serve, Rybakina was up 4-1 early before the Greek got back into the match.
“I think I had a rough start,” said Sakkari. “I was a little bit nervous. But then I just had faith in my game. I knew that if I could break her back, I would get back into the match. Making a lot of balls after being 4-1 down gave me a good chance to come back into the match.
“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. I just accepted the fact I had a bad start, just tried to change things.”
Badosa beat Sakkari at the WTA Finals at the end of last year.
“I really see sometimes myself on her. I think we play quite similar, or we try to do the same things,” Badosa said of Sakkari.
“I remember it was really tough. The match was, what, two key moments. I think I will have to fight for every ball, stay aggressive as well, serve well. She’s a good server, as well. She’s a good mover. In this round you just have to try to put your best tennis on the table and let’s see how it goes.”
Sakkari is 0-4 in semifinals at this level, so this would be her biggest win.
In the other night semifinal, Simona Halep will take on fellow French champion Iga Swiatek. Swiatek, who won Doha coming in, has won her last nine matches.
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