INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Elena Rybakina fired seven aces in routing top-ranked Iga Swiatek 6-2, 6-2 on Friday to advance to the BNP Paribas Open closing.
“I am fairly unhappy that I misplaced,” Swiatek stated.
Rybakina will play second-seeded Aryna Sabalenka, who beat Maria Sakkari 6-2, 6-3, in Sunday’s closing within the Southern California desert.
“It may be large,” stated Sabalenka, who gained the doubles title in 2019. “This event looks like a Grand Slam. I actually wish to maintain this trophy as a singles champion.”
Rybakina wanted simply 76 minutes to complete off Swiatek, the defending champion. She gained 82% of her first-serve factors, whereas Swiatek managed solely 42%. Rybakina additionally beat the Polish star on the Australian Open in January on her technique to ending runner-up.
“I did not count on that I used to be going to play that good in the present day,” Rybakina stated. “I had nothing to lose. I simply needed to come back and revel in. I performed among the best matches this yr.”
Swiatek had gained 10 straight matches within the desert till being stopped by Rybakina’s highly effective groundstrokes that repeatedly rushed Swiatek and compelled her into uncharacteristic errors.
She double-faulted to lose the primary set then fell behind 5-0 within the second earlier than rallying to win two video games.
“I really feel like I can play nice tennis even towards gamers who’re serving fairly quick and every thing,” Swiatek stated. “However for certain the final couple of matches towards Elena, they weren’t excellent for me.”
Swiatek stated her rib was bothering her through the match.
“I nonetheless must run some checks and see what is going on on. I do not know but,” she stated, including that for now she plans to play subsequent week in Miami.
Sabalenka, the Australian Open champion, improved to 17-1 this yr.
She leads Rybakina 4-0 of their profession conferences, however all 4 have gone to a deciding set, together with within the closing Down Beneath.
“It was a very shut match in Australia,” Rybakina stated on court docket. “If I will play like I did in the present day, I believe I’ve all the probabilities.”
Sabalenka took management towards Sakkari, seeded seventh, from the beginning. She attacked the Greek participant’s second serve, profitable 20 of 26 factors off it. Sakkari, runner-up in final yr’s closing, fell to 3-5 in her profession towards Sabalenka.
Sakkari reached the semifinals by rallying from a set down 3 times and going 4-0 in deciding units.
However Sabalenka was too dominant. She gained the ultimate three video games, together with two service breaks, to take the primary set 6-2.
Sabalenka led 2-0 within the second earlier than Sakkari tied it 2-all. From there, Sabalenka gained 4 of the ultimate 5 video games to shut out the match in 1½ hours.
“Simply tremendous completely satisfied proper now,” Sabalenka stated on court docket. “Maria’s such an awesome participant, and I knew it was going to be powerful.”