Elena Rybakina upsets Iga Swiatek for spot in Indian Wells remaining

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Elena Rybakina fired seven aces in routing top-ranked Iga Swiatek 6-2, 6-2 on Friday to advance to the BNP Paribas Open remaining.

“I am fairly unhappy that I misplaced,” Swiatek mentioned.

Rybakina will play second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka, who beat Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-3, in Sunday’s remaining within the Southern California desert.

“It’ll be enormous,” mentioned Sabalenka, who received the doubles title in 2019. “This match appears like a Grand Slam. I actually wish to maintain this trophy as a singles champion.”

Rybakina wanted simply 76 minutes to complete off Swiatek, the defending champion. She received 82% of her first-serve factors, whereas Swiatek managed solely 42%. Rybakina additionally beat the Polish star on the Australian Open in January on her technique to ending runner-up.

“I did not anticipate that I used to be going to play that good at present,” Rybakina mentioned. “I had nothing to lose. I simply wished to come back and luxuriate in. I performed among the best matches this yr.”

Swiatek had received 10 straight matches within the desert till being stopped by Rybakina’s highly effective groundstrokes that repeatedly rushed Swiatek and compelled her into uncharacteristic errors.

She double-faulted to lose the primary set then fell behind 5-0 within the second earlier than rallying to win two video games.

“I really feel like I can play nice tennis even in opposition to gamers who’re serving fairly quick and every thing,” Swiatek mentioned. “However for positive the final couple of matches in opposition to Elena, they weren’t excellent for me.”

Swiatek mentioned her rib was bothering her in the course of the match.

“I nonetheless need to run some exams and see what is going on on. I do not know but,” she mentioned, including that for now she plans to play subsequent week in Miami.

Sabalenka, the Australian Open champion, improved to 17-1 this yr.

She leads Rybakina 4-0 of their profession conferences, however all 4 have gone to a deciding set, together with within the remaining Down Below.

“It was a extremely shut match in Australia,” Rybakina mentioned on courtroom. “If I’ll play like I did at present, I feel I’ve all the probabilities.”

Sabalenka took management in opposition to Sakkari, seeded seventh, from the beginning. She attacked the Greek participant’s second serve, successful 20 of 26 factors off it. Sakkari, runner-up in final yr’s remaining, fell to 3-5 in her profession in opposition to Sabalenka.

Sakkari reached the semifinals by rallying from a set down thrice and going 4-0 in deciding units.

However Sabalenka was too dominant. She received the ultimate three video games, together with two service breaks, to take the primary set 6-2.

Sabalenka led 2-0 within the second earlier than Sakkari tied it 2-all. From there, Sabalenka received 4 of the ultimate 5 video games to shut out the match in 1½ hours.

“Simply tremendous comfortable proper now,” Sabalenka mentioned on courtroom. “Maria’s such an incredible participant, and I knew it was going to be powerful.”

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