Coco Gauff had three straight wins over Aryna Sabalenka but the Australian Open champion turned the tables in emphatic fashion Wednesday dominating the teen 6-4, 6-0 to advance to her first Indian Wells semifinal.
“It was great match,” Sabalenka said. “I felt really great on court. I think I played great tennis and super happy with this win. It’s always tough matches against Coco, and I’m super happy that I was able to finish this one in two sets.
Sabalenka finished with five aces, lost just four points on first serve and never faced a break point. She won the last seven games going away.
Sabalenka makes her 31st career semifinal. Gauff was bidding her 11th career WTA semifinal.
“Overall it was a good tournament for me,” said Gauff. “I had some good wins. Obviously today didn’t go how I wanted to, but she played really great tennis, and you can definitely see the improvement since the last time I played her. I think I just have to figure out a way how to combat that for the next time I play her.”
Former finalist Maria Sakkari returned the last four coming from a set down to defeat 15th-seeded Petra Kvitova 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. Kvitova led by a set and a break and had chances to go up two breaks.
“Coming back against her, now that she’s playing good, now that she has beaten so many good players, it’s a bloody good win,” Sakkari said to the wTA. “I just feel like the fact that I found a way today was one of the best comebacks of my life.”
The 33-year-old Kvitova finished with six aces but tossed in 12 double faults.
Sakkari now is ahead of Kvitova 5-3. She’s into her 25th career semifinal.
The last two quarterfinals are up on Thursday with defending champion Iga Swiatek facing Sorana Cirstea. Swiatek won their lone contest in the 2022 Australian Open fourth round.
No. 10 Elena Rybakina squares off against Karolina Muchova with the Czech winning heir only collision in the 2019 Us Open first round.
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