Paula Badosa the Indian Wells champion beats Maria Sakkari at the WTA Finals

Maria Sakkari

Badosa was playing Sakkari for the first time she beat her 7-6 (4), 6-4.

19 of Sakkari’s 26 unforced errors came from the forehand side. Badosa served at 65% (winning 77%), Sakkari served at 56% (winning 50%).

Badosa was the first to strike, winning three games in a row—and 12 of 13 points at one point—to jump ahead, 5-2. Sakkari clawed back to 5-all, though, and after two more holds, the two went to a tie-break. Badosa again surged ahead, 5-1, but Sakkari (again) battled back, winning three of the next four points to shrinking the deficit to 6-4—but Badosa ripped a forehand winner on the run on the next point to win out the set.

The second started as the first with Badosa building a 4-2 lead but Sakkari getting up to 4-all—this time Badosa broke again right away for a 5-4 lead, though, and after Sakkari fought off her first two match points, the Spaniard sealed the deal on her third match point with a big crosscourt backhand winner.

“I think the key to winning was to fight as well, same as her,” Badosa said in her on-court interview. “I’m a competitor, I like to compete, I like the important moments.