Indian Wells: Elena Rybakina Beats Iga Swiatek

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Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina has 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 17 minutes to beat the Pole 6-2 6-2.

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

She will face Aryna Sabalenka in a repeat of the Australian Open final.

“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 in every match. Today it was really good for me,” she said.

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

“I gave it all but Elena was a better player,” Swiatek said.

“Unfortunately I’m feeling discomfort and pain in my ribs and it was challenging for me to compete at my highest level. I will consult with my team and I will definitely use these next days to recover,” she said.

Meanwhile, Belarusian Sabalenka, who won her maiden major singles title in Melbourne, beat Greece’s world number seven Maria Sakkari 6-2 6-3 in the other semi-final.

“I’m just super happy with another final and super happy with the win against Maria,” Sabalenka said in her post-match press conference.

“She’s such a great fighter, and it’s always tough matches against her.

“I feel really good on the court right now, but I also have understood that it’s not going to be the same all the time.

“So that’s why I keep working hard, make sure in those days when things are not working my way, I still will be able to compete and to get these wins.”



BBC/Christopher Ojilere

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