Elena Rybakina and Aryna Sabalenka are in the Australian Open women’s singles final at the Indian Wells Open after winning their respective semi-finals on Friday.
First, Sabalenka made quick work of former world No. 2 Maria Sakkari.
Sabalenka won 6-2 6-3 to reach her third final of the season after losing two sets against the Greek star.
Beating both Sakkari and the desert heat, Sabalenka won in 1 hour and 23 minutes.
“I’m very happy for another final and I’m very happy to beat Maria,” Sabalenka said in a press conference after the match. “She’s a very good fighter, and it’s always tough matches with her.
“I feel good on the court at the moment, but I understand it won’t always be the same. So I continue to work hard, on those days when things don’t go my way, rest assured that I can still compete and get these wins.
Sabalenka has lost just five of her 18 games this year to improve to 17-1 on the season.
She takes a small, but not insignificant, slice at the top of the rankings from world No. 1 Iga Switek.
Swiatek lost in convincing fashion to bogeywoman Rybakina in her semi-final and saw her lead drop below 4000.
Rybakina achieved a unique feat when she became only the second person to win the reigning World No. 1 at the Australian Open and Indian Wells in the same season.
Kazakhstan’s No. 1 was at the top of her game when she picked her level queen to end Sviatek’s title defense.
“With Iga, she is a strong, very tough opponent, but when I play this well and everything goes in – because today I played sometimes, I would say, at my highest level – [these are] A moment when you feel like, OK, if I play like this all the time, I can beat anybody.
But the goal is, you will never feel amazing and perfect in every match. I think today was really good for me. “
Rybakina believes holding her serve will be key to coming out on top in her rematch with Sabalenka.
“I think [the key will be] It’s just about playing better and holding serve in these important moments, because I think a few times it’s just because of one break,” Rybakina said.
Both the men’s and women’s finals will be played in Indian Wells on Sunday.
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