Indian Wells 2024: Maria Sakkari Dominated Coco Gauff to Play the Final

Indian Wells Updates: In a thrilling match at the ATP-WTA Indian Wells Masters, Maria Sakkari overcame US Open champion Coco Gauff to secure her spot in the final against world number one Iga Swiatek. 

Maria Sakkari, who lost to the Polish star in 2022, will challenge Iga Swiatek for the Indian Wells crown for the second time in three years.

Indian Wells 2024: Maria Sakkari Dominated Coco Gauff to Play the Final

Maria Sakkari defeated US Open winner Coco Gauff on Friday in three sets and four match points, paving the way for a championship match against world no. 1 Iga Swiatek at the ATP-WTA Indian Wells Masters. Greece’s ninth-ranked Sakkari lost three match points in the second set but rallied in the third to win 6-4, 6-7 (5/7), 6-2 in a match that was delayed twice due to rain.

She will challenge Swiatek for the championship for the second time in three years after losing to the Polish star in 2022. The four-time Grand Slam winner Swiatek defeated 32nd-ranked Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk 6-2, 6-1 in just 69 minutes to secure her spot in the championship event.

Sakkari, behind 4-3 in the opening set when play was halted for 20 minutes due to light rain, would not be winning this easily. After coming back to serve, Sakkari converted her fifth break point to earn the sole break of the first set.

Play was stopped for two hours due to heavy rain just as the second set was starting. When play restarted, Sakkari was first to score, breaking an unreliable Gauff twice for leads of 2-1 and 5-2.

However, the third-ranked player in the world—who was making her semi-final debut at Indian Wells—responded. Easily breaking Sakkari, Gauff managed to get back to 5-3. Sakkari rallied from a 15–40 deficit in the second game, but was unable to convert her three match points. She sailed a forehand long on the opening game, and Gauff saved two more with winners en route to a service break that tied the set at 5–5.

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Indian Wells 2024: Maria Sakkari Dominated Coco Gauff to Play the Final

The American stormed to a 6-2 lead in the tiebreaker and leveled the match with a winning serve play on her fourth set point. After trading service breaks for the first part of the third set, Sakkari took control of the match and broke Gauff once more to win the match in two hours and forty-one minutes.

Sakkari said to the resilient supporters who defied the bitter cold and rain of the night, “I don’t want to disrespect Coco, but it would’ve been amazing if this match was over an hour ago.”

“I’m going to take this win, even though it was in three sets,” she stated. “That victory was incredible. Coco is a really formidable foe. She is amazing. She challenges everything. I’m just overjoyed to be back in this final.”

Sakkari remarked that the secret was simple willpower. “I didn’t give up,” the woman declared. “You can easily lose your head when you lose that second set from being match point up.”Things took a turn for the worst, and I lost it. Even if nothing seemed right, I persisted in believing in myself and in my struggle.”

Positives From Swiatek

In contrast, Swiatek had total control of the whole match against Kostyuk. Swiatek, who faced no break points and scored 14 winners with just six unforced errors, stated, “I think it was the cleanest match I played here.” “I didn’t really experience any moments of insecurity during the game today.
“I have all the positive vibes.”

Despite not dropping a set en route to the final, Swiatek had previously stated that she needed to improve on a few areas of her game. She appeared to have succeeded in doing so as she quickly put Kostyuk on the run, applying more pressure with her strength and accuracy.

The match began with the Ukrainian, who was competing in her maiden 1000 level semi-final, holding serve. However, Swiatek won the next five games and quickly took the first set. Despite finishing with 17 victories and 23 unintentional mistakes, Kostyuk was unable to turn things around.

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