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World No. 1 Swiatek sweeps past Sakkari for second Indian Wells title

World number one Iga Swiatek hits a backhand on the way to victory over Greece's Maria Sakkari in the women's final of the ATP-WTA Indian Wells Masters (Frederic J. BROWN)
World number one Iga Swiatek hits a backhand on the way to victory over Greece's Maria Sakkari in the women's final of the ATP-WTA Indian Wells Masters (Frederic J. BROWN)

World number one Iga Swiatek powered past Greece's Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-0 on Sunday to claim her second Indian Wells WTA title two years after she beat Sakkari for her first.

The rematch of the 2022 championship showdown produced an almost identical outcome, as four-time Grand Slam champion Swiatek dominated the second set to seize her 19th career title and her second of 2024.

Sakkari, ranked ninth in the world, battled gamely through the opening set, erasing a break and saving two break points in the final game before Swiatek delivered a blistering forehand winner to pocket the set after 44 minutes.

It would take just 24 more minutes for the Polish star to wrap things up. She broke Sakkari at love for a 2-0 lead and rolled to the finish.

Swiatek continued her strong comeback from a disappointing third-round exit at the Australian Open in January.

Since then, she has won the title at Doha and reached the semi-finals at Dubai. On Sunday, she became the 10th woman to win the Indian Wells title twice -- no one has yet managed to lift the trophy three times.

"It's just amazing to be standing here again," Swiatek told the Stadium Court crowd after winning her eighth WTA 1000 level title.

Swiatek's run included a grudge match victory over Linda Noskova -- the Czech teen who stunned her in the third round at the Australian Open in January.

Swiatek, who lost just 21 games and didn't drop a set in the course of the tournament, seized the initiative early, breaking Sakkari for a 3-0 lead.

Sakkari, whose two career titles include last September's 1000-level event in Guadalajara, broke back in the fifth game and leveled the set with a love hold for 4-4.

But serving to stay in the set, she quickly found herself down 0-40 and once Swiatek had the set in hand she was away, winning the last eight games of the match.

"Credit to Iga," said Sakkari, who came through a testing, rain-disrupted semi-final against US Open champion Coco Gauff to book her rematch with Swiatek.

Although she has won three of six meetings with Swiatek, she hasn't beaten her since 2021.

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