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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Indian Wells: Elena Rybakina through to final after defeating Iga Swiatek

Elena Rybakina reached the Australain Open final after winning her maiden major title at Wimbledon

Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina defeated world number one Iga Swiatek in straight sets to reach the Indian Wells final.

Kazahk 10th seed Rybakina was dominant against defending champion Swiatek, needing just one hour and 17 minutes to beat the Pole 6-2 6-2.

It is the second time Rybakina, 23, has beaten Swiatek this season after defeating her at the Australian Open.

“Today in some moments I played at my highest level,” Rybakina said.

“There are moments you feel, ‘OK, I can beat anyone if I always play like this’. It’s the goal, but you never feel amazing and perfect every match. I think today it was really good from me.”

Rybakina will now face Aryna Sabalenka in a repeat of January’s Australian Open final.

Rybakina took the first set against Swiatek in 36 minutes and raced to a 4-0 lead in the second.

Top seed Swiatek held her serve at 5-1 and claimed her first break to make the second 5-2 but it was not enough.

Belarusian Sabalenka, who won her maiden major singles title in Melbourne, beat world number seven Maria Sakkari 6-2 6-3 to reach the final.

Meanwhile, Britain’s Neal Skupski and the Netherlands’ Wesley Koolhof are through to the men’s doubles final.

They claimed a 6-3 4-6 10-5 win over Mexico’s Santiago Gonzalez and France’s Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the semi-final.

Skupsi and Koolhof will play India’s Rohan Bopanna and Australia’s Matthew Ebden in Sunday’s final.

Elsewhere, former wold number three Elina Svitolina will return to the WTA Tour following her maternity leave at the Charleston Open in South Carolina in April.

The Ukrainian, who last played a year ago in Miami, accepted a wildcard for the event after the birth of her daughter with husband and fellow tennis player Gael Monfils.

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