Polish sensation Iga Swiatek continued what has been an excellent start to 2022 on Sunday when beating fellow top ten player Maria Sakkari to claim the BNP Paribas title at Indian Wells. In a final played in far from ideal conditions, with the wind billowing around the Indian Wells Tennis Garden at times and clearly affecting both players, Swiatek managed to conquer both the conditions and her opponent in a scrappy but tenacious encounter – coming out on top 6-4 6-1 to claim her second title in the space of a month, and the winner’s cheque of $1,242,025.
Although the 1.53 favourite going into the game, Swiatek did trail Sakkari 3-1 on the head-to-head record, making this far from straightforward to call. However, the pre match favourite was soon utilising her return game to devastating effect, winning 67% of return points as opposed to the 37% figure recorded by her opponent. Sakkari was efficient with the break point opportunities which did come here way – converting on 3 of 4 – but the pressure from Swiatek was relentless in the second set in particular, with her 6 from 11 break point conversion rate being more than enough to forge clear.
Flying at present, this victory took the latest winning streak of the 2020 French Open champion to a career high eleven, as she grabbed her second WTA 1000 success of the season following February’s triumph in Doha. When asked for her reaction to this latest win, Swiatek was keeping her feet firmly on the ground, stating, “Of course, you have to believe in yourself, but I’m a realistic person, so…that’s the first time I’m in a position where I won two tournaments in a row, so it’s all new,”. One of the hottest players in the world game at present, ?wi?tek now sits at number two in the WTA World Rankings.
In this sort of form Swiatek must have strong claims of winning a second career major at Roland Garros. She’s currently available to back at around the 5.0 mark ahead of that event which gets underway in the French capital on 22nd May. For the latest wagering markets and promotions be sure to take a look at the latest betting offers for tennis .
Disappointment for Sakkari, with the 26-year-old expressing as much in the aftermath, “I’m disappointed. I’m not going to hide that. I’m very disappointed I did not win today. But there are a lot of positive things that I’ll take with me,” she said. And even in defeat Sakkari achieved a notable benchmark of which to be proud, with her deep run in the event taking her all the way up to third spot in then WTA World Rankings. That’s the highest ranking of her career, and the joint highest ranking ever achieved by a player from Greece, either male or female. Stefanos Tsitsipas the only other from the European nation to have risen so high.
A productive tournament for both women, and one suspects this may not be the last time we see these two clash in a major final.