Indian Wells 2023 SF: Maria Sakkari vs Aryna Sabalenka – Preview, Head-to-Head, and Prediction

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2nd seed Aryna Sabalenka locks horns with 7th seed Maria Sakkari in the semifinals of the 2023 Indian Wells on Saturday.

Aryna Sabalenka

Aryna Sabalenka

With 16 wins and just 1 loss so far in 2023, Sabalenka is the player to beat as far as women’s tennis is concerned at the moment. She began in Indian Wells with a lopsided 6-2, 6-0 win against Evgeniya Rodina in the round of 64. In the round of 32, Sabalenka received a walkover from Lesia Tsurenko. Sabalenka went on to face Dubai Tennis Championships winner, Barbora Krejcikova in the round of 16. The Belarusian star played well in the first and third sets to win the match 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, smashing 11 aces.

In the quarterfinals, Sabalenka faced the talented Coco Gauff. The world No. 2 used her experience to outplay Gauff, winning in straight sets 6-4, 6-0. Sabalenka had a win percentage of 87 on the first serve. Gauff failed to break her opponent’s serve throughout the match.

Maria Sakkari

The Greek star has won all her matches so far in the Indian Wells in three sets. In three out of her four wins, she came back after dropping the first set. In the round of 64, Sakkari defeated Shelby Rogers 2-6, 6-4, 6-0. Sakkari followed it up with another fine victory against 27th seed Anhelina Kalinina. The match ended 3-6, 6-2, 6-4 in favor of Sakkari. In the round of 16, Sakkari managed to win the first set against Karolina Pliskova. The 27-year-old Sakkari fought hard but couldn’t finish the match in the second set. The match eventually finished 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 in favor of Sakkari who could only convert 7 out of 29 break points.

Maria Sakkari 2
MIAMI GARDENS, FL – MARCH 31: Maria Sakkari Vs Naomi Osaka during the quarterfinals at the 2021 Miami Open at Hard Rock Stadium on March 31, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Florida. Credit: Miami Gardens USA – ZUMA 0116274360st Copyright: xmpi04/MediaPunchx

In the quarterfinals, Sakkari came back from a set down to beat 15th seed Petra Kvitova 4-6, 7-5, 6-1. The former managed to convert 5 out of 9 break points and had a win percentage of 73 on the first serve. Kvitova also didn’t help herself as she committed 12 double faults.

Head-to-Head and Prediction

Sabalenka narrowly edges the head-to-head 4-3. Sakkari won their most recent encounter in the group stage of the 2022 WTA Finals in straight sets 6-2, 6-4.

Prediction: Aryna Sabalenka to win in straight sets.

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