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 on the earth.
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 actually overwhelmed and truthfully my thoughts is blown,” Swiatek mentioned, explaining that coming into the event she didn’t assume it was “lifelike” to assume she may keep the extent that noticed her win Doha for a second straight event.
“I wouldn’t consider myself as somebody who’s able to play two tournaments in a row and win it,” she mentioned.
Nevertheless, now that she’s adopted Agnieszka Radwanska as the one Polish gamers to achieve quantity two on the earth, she’s aiming even larger.
“I really feel like getting the primary is nearer and nearer,” she mentioned.
Greece’s Sakkari, who got here into the event ranked sixth on the earth and likewise had an opportunity to get to quantity two with a victory, will rise to a career-high third.
Each 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 referred to as “loopy” situations.
“For positive you would see that we’re, initially, a bit of bit careworn, and the wind can be not serving to,” Swiatek mentioned.
“However I’m fairly glad that I performed higher and higher each recreation, and I managed to in some way discover little little bit of stability even in these situations.
“It was fairly exhausting to really play the techniques that I wished due to the situations. However I wished simply to remain constant and actually strong as a result of that’s an important factor when the ball goes, you realize, in bizarre instructions.”
Trailing 5-4 within the first, Sakkari led 40-30 however despatched two backhands into the web to provide Swiatek a set level, which the Greek saved with forehand winner.
Sakkari got here up with a service winner to save lots of 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 web.
With a set in hand, Swiatek dominated within the second. Though she couldn’t convert two break factors within the second recreation as Sakkari made it 1-1, Swiatek roared by way of the subsequent six video games to shut it out in 80 minutes and stay unbeaten in 5 profession WTA finals.
SAKKARI’S STEP FORWARD
Sakkari fell to 1-4 in finals, her solely title coming in Rabat in 2019.
However she mentioned she leaves the event with elevated confidence.
“I actually imagine I took a step ahead this week, although I misplaced at the moment,” she mentioned.
“I’m upset. I’m not going to cover that. I’m very upset I didn’t win at the moment. However there are plenty of optimistic issues that I’ll take with me.”
That features becoming a member of Stefanos Tsitsipas as the one Greek gamers to be ranked third in world.
“Once I give it some thought, I can’t imagine there’s solely two ladies above me proper now,” she mentioned. “I’m very proud that myself and Stefanos have really grown tennis in Greece. Having two gamers in that rating place is one thing enormous for us.”