Indian Wells, California. , Elena Rybakina 7 aces in top order routing inga swotek Reached the final of BNP Paribas Open on Friday 6-2, 6-2.
Swiatek said, “I am very sad that I lost.”
Rybakina will play the second seed Aryana Sabalenkawho beat Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-3 in Sunday’s final in the Southern California desert.
“It’s going to be huge,” said Sabalenka, who won the doubles title in 2019.
Rybakina needed just 76 minutes to eliminate defending champion Swiatek. She won 82% of her first-serve points, while Swiatek only managed 42%. Rybakina defeated the Polish star en route to a runner-up finish at the Australian Open in January.
“I didn’t expect to play so well today,” said Rybakina. “I had nothing to lose, I just wanted to come and enjoy. One of the best matches I played this year.”
Swiatek had won 10 straight matches in the desert until she was stopped by Ryabkina’s powerful groundstrokes, which repeatedly rushed Swiatek and forced her into unforced errors.
Swiatek double faulted to lose the first set. She then fell behind 5–0 in the second before rallying to win two games.
“I think I can play great tennis against players who are serving very fast,” she said. “But definitely the last few matches against Elena, they weren’t quite right for me.”
Swiatek said that his rib was bothering him during the match.
“I still have to run some tests and see what’s going on. I don’t know yet,” she said, adding that for now she plans to play next week in Miami.
Sabalenka, the reigning Australian Open champion, improved to 17-1 this year.
She leads Rybakina 4–0 in their career meetings, but all four have gone to a deciding set, including the final Down Under.
“It was a very close match in Australia,” Rybakina said on the court. “If I’m going to play like I did today, I think I have all the chances.”
Sabalenka took control from the start against seventh seed Sakkari. She attacked the Greek’s second serve and won 20 out of 26 points. Sakkari, the runner-up in last year’s final, lost her career best 3–5 against Sabalenka.
Sakkari reached the semifinals after coming from down a set three times and going 4–0 in deciding sets.
But Sablenka was too dominant. She won the last three games, including two service breaks, to take the first set 6–2.
Sabalenka raced to a 2–0 lead in the second before Sakkari tied it 2–all. From there, Sabalenka won four of the last five games to close out the match in 1 1/2 hours.
“I’m very happy right now,” Sabalenka said in court. “Maria is such a great player and I knew it was going to be tough.”