Indian Wells D10 wrap: Sakkari shocks Coco to reach final

GREEK talent Maria Sakkari has turned around her recent 2024 form to reach the WTA 1000 Indian Wells final with a huge upset over local hope and third seed, Coco Gauff. Sakkari, who entered the tournament having not won back-to-back matches since the China Open in early October, strung together five in a row out in the Californian desert, with the latest being a three-set epic over Gauff.

“We always say in tennis one day can change everything, but a month ago I was in Abu Dhabi, I couldn’t hit a ball over the net, and now I’m just here in one of the biggest tournaments playing another final,” Sakkari said post-match.  “Those are lessons and those are things that you have to just accept the more you’re on the tour that you’re going to have some bad times, and then things can really change in a week.”

Sakkari won 6-4 6-7 6-2 in two hours and 42 minutes, with both players having shaky moments throughout the contest. Sakkari looked on top for the most part, winning the first set 6-4 and then leading 5-2 in the second. It looked as though the top 10 talent was about to take out the match rather comfortably.

But a mix of nerves, along with Gauff’s sheer desire to come back saw the young American force her way back to take it to a tiebreaker, where she won 7-5. Having lost four consecutive games, and then the set from the brink of winning , Sakkari stepped back up to the plate in the decider to break three times to one and run out victorious in the third set.

“I knew from the beginning it was going to be very tough,” Sakkari said. “You know, a lot of things happened today. Rain delays, obviously, that second set could have been different. But I was thinking of that finish line too much, and then I was just thinking too much on how to close out the match. That didn’t really help me. It freaked me out a little bit. I was too nervous.

“But, you know, I’m very proud of myself that I kept my nerves, and then I just fought hard in that third set.”

Sakkari now reaches her second Indian Wells final in three years, with her opponent the same she faced ack in 2022, Iga Swiatek. The world number one beat her on that day in straight sets, which just happened to be the last time the pair faced off on the WTA Tour.

Yesterday, Swiatek crushed the dreams of 31st seed Ukrainian Marta Kostyuk who enjoyed a huge run to the semi-finals. Only losing three games, the Pole won 6-2 6-1 to continue her terrific form and book her place in tomorrow’s final.


[1] Iga Swiatek (POL) defeated [31] Marta Kostyuk (UKR) 6-2 6-1
[9] Maria Sakkari (GRE) defeated [3] Coco Gauff (USA) 6-4 6-7 6-2

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