Swiatek, Rybakina Advance To Indian Wells Friday SF; Sabalenka v Sakkari

by Staff | March 16th, 2023, 10:57 pm
  • 1 Comment

The women’s semifinals were set Thursday at Indian Wells. Defending champion and world No. 1 Iga Swiatek returned to the final four getting past the 32-year-old veteran Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-3.

“I’m happy that I played so intense that I could start both sets well,” Swiatek said. “I feeling like handling things pretty well, and just playing my game.”

Swiatek was broken once in each set but still won 10 of the first 12 games. Swiatek reaches her 19th career semifinal and second straight in the desert.

Tomorrow, she’ll face Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina in a rematch from Melbourne. The 10th-seeded Kazakh derailed Karolina Muchova in three sets 7-6(7-4), 2-6, 6-4.

In the match, Rybakina finished with six aces, six doubles and was just two of 14 on break chances. She broke early in the third for 2-1 and that was all she needed.

“I didn’t start the match so good,” Rybakina said. “I was a bit low on energy. Didn’t move that well. Didn’t serve also. So it was already struggle from the beginning. Also, Karolina, she played really well, she was opening the court and using these slow conditions. It was difficult for me to get free points.

“It was tough first set, so in the second, it was difficult to keep the level. I dropped and lost three games really quick. So of course after I start to feel the rhythm again, but it was already too late for the second set.

“In the third, I just knew that I have to push more, try to focus on every point. Yeah, just somehow to raise my energy. In the end it was really close also the third set.”

Rybakina makes her 18th career semifinal, her first at Indian Wells and first at the WTA 1000 level.

Swiatek and Rybakina have split two tour-level meetings. Rybakina won their last collision in January in the Australian Open fourth round 6-4, 6-4.

“For sure it’s gonna be different than in Australia,” said Rybakina.

“She’s a big fighter, she moves really well on court. I think physically she’s one of the best for now. It’s not easy against her, because you feel that every point is gonna be tough. She’s very consistent also.

In Australia I just know that when I went to play against her, I had really nothing to lose. She’s No. 1 and kind of pressure on her in that moment.

I knew the game plan, I knew how I have to play, and in the end, I did well. So we see how it’s gonna go tomorrow, but I think I have chances, of course, if I’m physically ready.”

Earlier, No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka faces No. 7 Maria Sakkari. Sabalenka has had the better of Sakkari 4-3 in their tour-level encounters. Sakkari took their last battle at the WTA Finals last November.

“I think that Aryna is just very confident right now,” Sakkari said Wednesday.

“It’s gonna be very tough. I’m not expecting, you know, a win like in Fort Worth. She’s gonna be a different player, and I respect that. I’m ready for it. I’m just gonna try and improve my game at least 1%.”

Matches Start At: 11:00 am
WTA Barbora Krejcikova (CZE) [1]/Katerina Siniakova (CZE) vs Shuko Aoyama (JPN)/Ena Shibahara (JPN)
WTA Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA)/Laura Siegemund (GER) vs Miyu Kato (JPN)/Aldila Sutjiadi (INA)

Not Before 3:00 PM
WTA Maria Sakkari (GRE) [7] vs Aryna Sabalenka [2]
Not Before 6:00 PM
WTA Iga Swiatek (POL) [1] vs Elena Rybakina (KAZ) [10]

Not Before 8:00 pm

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One Comment for Swiatek, Rybakina Advance To Indian Wells Friday SF; Sabalenka v Sakkari

Wog Boy Says:

That was quite a trashing, another Russian vs Belorussian final, keep it up girls👍

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