Elena Rybakina made a huge upset on Iga Swiatek, beating the world's number one 6-2 6-2 in Friday's semifinal of BNP Paribas Open 2023. The Kazakh will face Aryna Sabalenka in the final of Indian Wells tournament, looking for the revenge after January's final match of Australian Open.
Rybakina was a looking very strong in her Indian Wells campaign so far, but all the pre-match odds were reflecting on Swiatek as a big pre-match favorite with the odds around 1.20. The turn of on-court events looked completely different tough, as Rybakina overpowered the favorized opponent and was looking much better in all the areas. The world's number 10 started from the front foot, opening the match with a break and clutching the first set with a score 6-2, defending just two breakpoints on the road. Second set was even a bigger beatdown, as Rybakina was putting instant pressure on every Swiatek's service game, leading 5-0 upon a time. The Pole managed to gain just one break back when Rybakina was serving for the match (and having two matchpoints) in 7th game. That has not turned over the fates of this match, as Rybakina sealed her place in a big final after just 77 minutes of game. It is third straight set win in a row for Rybakina in just 4 matches played so far against Swiatek.
Aryna Sabalenka won another one-sided semifinal match against Maria Sakkari. This time, it was no surprise, as Sabalenka was a confident favorite of bottom half to earn the final place and did not disappoint in this role. The Belarusian was the first player to gain a break advantage in both sets. Sakkari responded with a break back in both cases, but it was Sabalenka who played the dominant tennis in decisive phases of both sets. The world's number 2 advanced to the final with a score 6-2 6-3 after 85 minutes of game.