Elena Rybakina ambushed Iga Swiatek 6-2, 6-2 on Friday to set up an Indian Wells Masters final with fellow Grand Slam winner Aryna Sabalenka.

Wimbledon winner Rybakina will face the reigning Australian Open holder on Sunday in their desert title showdown.

Second seed Sabalenka moved to within one victory of a third title this season as she beat 2022 runner-up Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-3.

“I’m just super happy with another final and super happy with the win against Maria,” Sabalenka said.

“She’s such a great fighter, and it’s always tough matches against her.

“But to be honest, I’m just super focusing on myself, on the game, on improvement.

“The goal is just to keep playing, keep winning, keep doing myself, and keep focusing on myself.”

Sabalenka leads the series with Kazakh Rybakina 4-0, with all of their matches playing out in three sets.

Rybakina defeated Swiatek for the second time this season after a victory in the Australian open fourth round.

Swiatek, winner of eight titles in 2022, came to the semi-final without the loss of a set here, but found her game overpowered by Moscow-born Rybakina, who advanced in 77 minute with seven aces and five breaks of the Pole’s serve.

A break for the Kazakh on her opponent’s double-fault ended the opening set with Rybakina running out the match from a 4-0 lead in the second set.


Leave a Reply