Tennis star Elena Rybakina continues her ascent to the top of her sport with a straight-set victory over World No. 1 Iga Swiatek at the BNP Paribas Open semifinals.
With the victory, Rybakina sets up a repeat clash of the power hitters as she meets Aryna Sabalenka in the final.
The pair last met in the Australian Open where Sabalenka narrowly defeated Rybakina in three sets 4-6, 6-3, 6-4.
Rybakina is the Wimbledon champion who seemingly burst on the scene quickly; whereas, Sabalenka is the Australian Open champion who has been in the top rankings for a little while.
Rybakina Started Strong And Kept Swiatek On The Run
Swiatek looked out of sorts with Rybakina’s consistent first serves and the power shots that kept her guessing.
After the match, we learned that Swiatek is dealing with a rib issue that she plans to get checked out before heading to Miami for next week’s Miami Open.
Though Swiatek has dominated in 2023 and is used to jumping out to a quick and commanding lead, her four losses this year are in straight sets.
Iga Swiatek’s losses this year have all been straight sets:
Pegula 6-2 6-2
Rybakina 6-4 6-4
Krejcikova 6-4 6-2
Rybakina 6-2 6-2
Swiatek is already making a case as one of the most dominant frontrunners of the 21st century but a lot of work be done on digging deep when losing.
— Tumaini Carayol (@tumcarayol) March 18, 2023
Get Your Popcorn Ready For A Sabalenka Vs. Rybakina Final
It's an Australian Open Final rematch in the Indian Wells Final between Aryna Sabalenka and Elena Rybakina
Sabalenka won that one 6-4 in the 3rd. pic.twitter.com/l54TYrn3YJ
— Tennis Updates (@TennisUpdates23) March 18, 2023
Women’s tennis could not ask for a better matchup.
Sabalenka owns the head-to-head matchup between the two by a resounding 4-0.
When asked about facing Sabalenka at Indian Wells after losing in Australia, Rybakina said:
“It was really close, we had so many battles and so far I’m losing, but hopefully that will change.”
No Repeat Champions At Indian Wells In 2023
With Swiatek’s loss and the defending men’s doubles champions Jack Sock and John Isner’s defeat on Friday night, there will be no repeat champions at Indian Wells in 2023.
Amazing news to start off the day😍 :
Rohan Bopanna & Matthew Ebden storm into Final of prestigious Indian Wells Masters: BEAT big guns John Isner & Jack Sock 7-6, 7-6.
🎾 It's 3rd ATP Final of the year for the duo & overall 10th Masters Final for Bopanna. #BNPParibasOpen pic.twitter.com/9efdcuHCpD
— India_AllSports (@India_AllSports) March 18, 2023
Americans Sock and Isner fell to Rohan Bopanna of India and Matthew Ebden of Australia in straight sets, both decided by tiebreakers.
Bopanna is 43 years old but still possesses a formidable serve.
Men’s Finalists Will Be Determined On Saturday Afternoon
Semi-Final O'Clock 🕰️ 🌴
Pick your 2023 Indian Wells finalists 👇 pic.twitter.com/IeLuM7XDCu
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) March 18, 2023
Watch two great semifinal matches on Saturday afternoon beginning around 1:00 PM EDT.
First is Daniil Medvedev vs. Frances Tiafoe, and it is followed by Carlos Alcaraz vs. Jannik Sinner.
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