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Swiatek swamps Sakkari 6-4, 6-0 to win Indian Wells title for Tour-leading 20th match win of year


INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — Iga Swiatek flinched when the celebratory streamers shot into the sky. It was the only thing that bothered the world’s top-ranked woman.

“I just thought it’s going to happen a little bit later,” she said, laughing.

She beat Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-0 in just over an hour to win the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday, with Swiatek losing just 21 games in six matches during the 12-day tournament — an average of 3.5 games per match.

Swiatek improved to 20-2 this year, with her wins leading the WTA Tour. She easily hoisted the 40-pound crystal trophy as the streamers cascaded onto the court.

It was a repeat of the 2022 final, in which Swiatek beat Sakkari 6-4, 6-1. Sakkari hasn’t defeated the Polish star since 2021.

“Hard to compare because I remember that last time I was coming as world number two,” Swiatek said in a Tennis Channel interview. “A lot has happened since then.”

The men’s final also is a rematch, with Carlos Alcaraz facing Daniil Medvedev later Sunday. The Spaniard beat the Russian 6-3, 6-2 last year.

Swiatek raced to a 3-0 lead in the opening set. Sakkari recovered to win three straight games, including a break of Swiatek. She served a love game to tie it, 4-4. Swiatek lost just two points on her serve the rest of the set, wrapping it up with a forehand winner in the corner.

Swiatek was more dominant in the second set, breaking Sakkari three times all in love games. She lost just five points in the set.

She became just the third woman to win a 6-0 set in the Indian Wells final, along with Steffi Graf and Lindsay Davenport.

Swiatek hit 15 winners and had 11 unforced errors in the 1 hour, 8-minute match. Sakkari had eight winners and 18 unforced errors.

“Sorry I couldn’t put on a better fight,” Sakkari told the crowd that included actors Charlize Theron, Tom Holland and Zendaya.

Sakkari was coming off a three-set win over Coco Gauff late Friday in a semifinal that was delayed by rain and played in 50-degree temperatures. Swiatek routed Marta Kostyuk 6-2, 6-1 in her semi.

“During these last two matches I was pretty confident and just went for it,” Swiatek said.

Swiatek earned $1.1 million for the victory. That’s less than the $1.26 million the women’s and men’s champions received in 2023. This year more prize money was allocated to the earlier rounds, reducing the champions’ prize money by nearly 13%.


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