Former French Open champion Iga Swiatek beat Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-1 on Sunday to win the WTA Indian Wells title and transfer to a career-high rating of quantity two within the world.
Swiatek’s fifth profession title was her second in as many tournaments after her triumph in Doha final month, and pushed her WTA match win-streak to 11.
It additionally ensured the 20-year-old from Poland, who shot to prominence along with her victory at Roland Garros in 2020, will climb two spots to supplant Barbora Krejcikova at quantity two within the rankings behind Australian Ashleigh Barty on Monday.
“I’m really overwhelmed and honestly my mind is blown,” Swiatek mentioned, explaining that coming into the match she did not suppose it was “realistic” to suppose she may preserve the extent that noticed her win Doha for a second straight match.
“I wouldn’t think of myself as someone who’s ready to play two tournaments in a row and win it,” she mentioned.
However, now that she’s adopted Agnieszka Radwanska as the one Polish gamers to achieve quantity two within the world, she’s aiming even greater.
“I feel like getting the number one is closer and closer,” she mentioned.
Greece’s Sakkari, who got here into the match ranked sixth within the world and likewise had an opportunity to get to quantity two with a victory, will rise to a career-high third.
Both gamers struggled to discover a rhythm on one other breezy day within the California desert, the place their first set featured six breaks of serve in what Swiatek known as “crazy” situations.
“For sure you could see that we are, at the beginning, a little bit stressed, and the wind is also not helping,” Swiatek mentioned.
“But I’m fairly glad that I performed higher and higher each recreation, and I managed to by some means discover little little bit of steadiness even in these situations.
Trailing 5-4 within the first, Sakkari led 40-30 however despatched two backhands into the online to provide Swiatek a set level, which the Greek saved with forehand winner.
Sakkari got here up with a service winner to avoid wasting one other set level, then double faulted to provide Swiatek a 3rd likelihood, the Pole taking the set when Sakkari stroked a backhand into the online.
With a set in hand, Swiatek dominated within the second. Although she could not convert two break factors within the second recreation as Sakkari made it 1-1, Swiatek roared via the subsequent six video games to shut it out in 80 minutes and stay unbeaten in 5 profession WTA finals.
Sakkari’s step ahead
Sakkari fell to 1-4 in finals, her solely title coming in Rabat in 2019.
But she mentioned she leaves the match with elevated confidence.
“I really believe I took a step forward this week, even though I lost today,” she mentioned.
“I’m disappointed. I’m not going to hide that. I’m very disappointed I did not win today. But there are a lot of positive things that I’ll take with me.”
That consists of becoming a member of Stefanos Tsitsipas as the one Greek gamers to be ranked third in world.
“When I think about it, I can’t believe there’s only two girls above me right now,” she mentioned. “I’m very proud that myself and Stefanos have actually grown tennis in Greece. Having two players in that ranking position is something huge for us.”
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