Indian Wells: Elena Rybakina in the final after beating Iga Swiatek
Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina defeated world number one Iga Swiatek in straight sets to reach the Indian Wells final.
Kazahk’s 10th seed Rybakina outplayed defending champion Swiatek, needing just an hour and 17 minutes to beat the Pole 6-2 6-2.
It’s the second time Rybakina, 23, has beaten Swiatek this season after beat her at the Australian Open.
“Today at times I played at my highest level,” Rybakina said.
“There are times when you feel, ‘OK, I can beat anybody if I always play like this’. That’s the goal, but you never feel amazing and perfect every game. I think that today was really good of 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 took a 4-0 lead in the second.
The top seed Swiatek held serve at 5-1 and claimed his first break to make the second 5-2, but it wasn’t enough.
Belarusian Sabalenka, who won her first 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 Dutchman Wesley Koolhof have qualified for the men’s doubles final.
They secured a 6-3 4-6 10-5 victory over Mexican Santiago Gonzalez and Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin in the semi-finals.
Skupsi and Koolhof will face Indian Rohan Bopanna and Australian Matthew Ebden in Sunday’s final.
Elsewhere, former world number three Elina Svitolina will return to the WTA Tour after 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.