Australian Open champion Sabalenka beats Sakkari to reach Indian Wells final

Belarus’ Aryna Sabalenka plays a backhand return to Greece’s Maria Sakkari during their Indian Wells Masters semi-final tennis match in Indian Wells, California, on 17 March 2023. (Photo by Frederic J. BROWN / AFP)

Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka beat Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-3 in a Stadium Court slugfest on Friday to reach the final of the Indian Wells WTA and ATP Masters 1000.

World number two Sabalenka, who took her 2023 WTA record to 17-1, notched her fifth win in eight meetings against the seventh-seeded Greek and awaits the winner of the second semi-final between world number one and defending champion Iga Swiatek and Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina.

Sabalenka’s win ensured the final will feature a match-up of reigning Grand Slam champions. Swiatek won both the French and US Opens last year.

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