Maria Sakkari battles past Coco Gauff to book place in Indian Wells final

The Greek world number nine will face top seed Iga Swiatek for the title.

Rob Freeman
Saturday 16 March 2024 06:26 GMT
Maria Sakkari reacts after winning the set against Coco Gauff (Ryan Sun/AP)
Maria Sakkari reacts after winning the set against Coco Gauff (Ryan Sun/AP) (AP)

Maria Sakkari fought off a Coco Gauff fightback to book a place in the final of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

She will face top seed Iga Swiatek after beating the American third seed 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-2 in a lengthy, rain-interrupted battle which finished after 1am.

Gauff broke the Greek ninth seed early, but Sakkari fought back to take a first set interrupted by a short rain delay 6-4.

A lengthy break for the weather delayed the start of the second set, Sakkari settling quickest on the resumption and breaking the American twice to lead 5-2.

But she could not serve out the match, despite having a match point, as Gauff broke back and took the set on the tie break.

Gauff broke again at the start of the third set, but Sakkari dug in and rattled off four games in a row to take control again.

And this time she was able to complete the job, breaking Gauff again to complete the win after two hours, 41 minutes on court.

Swiatek’s path to the final, in which she has lost just 20 games, was more straightforward as she saw off Martya Kostyuk 6-2 6-1.

The world number one needed little more than an hour to see off the 31st seed without facing a break point.

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