Aryna Sabalenka moved to within one victory of a third title this season as she beat 2022 runner-up Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-3 on Friday at the Indian Wells Masters.

The Australian Open champion also owns a January title from Adelaide as she waits for an opponent to emerge from No. 1 Iga Swiatek and reigning Wimbledon winner Elena Rybakina.

“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 fired 21 winners and broke her Greek opponent five times in 85 minutes; she is 4-0 in Masters 1000 finals, claiming her last in Madrid three years ago.

She stands 17-1 this season and improved to 5-3 over Sakkari.

The second-seeded winner established dominance with three breaks of serve in the first set with one break sufficient in the second set to wrap up the win on a first match point.


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