Swiatek-Sakkari rematch at Indian Wells with No. 2 ranking on the line

FB IMG 1647742464899

Ahead of their long-awaited final on Sunday at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, Sakkari admits that she was stunned by the aggressive way that the Pole played against her in Doha, where she notched a 6-4, 6-3 victory in the semifinals.

“I think we will both go out and try and play very aggressive because this is how tennis is right now and women's tennis, in general,” Sakkari told reporters after her three-set victory over defending champion on Friday night at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Just minutes after locking up a spot in her biggest career final, Sakkari wasn’t ready to talk tactics.

“I just haven't really thought about the tactic yet because it's too early and too soon,” she said. “It's something that I want to just start thinking from tomorrow because she has changed her game. She's not the Iga that was a year ago. She has been playing very, very aggressive and I was actually very surprised with that change when I played her in Doha. So I'll have to come up with a good plan with my team.”

Sakkari will also have to avoid a let down after her emotional semi-final victory over defending champion Paula Badosa 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.

Sakkari, who had one only two of her last 14 semi-finals, broke down in tears after seeing off the Spaniard.

"It might look silly to some people because it might look like I've won the title, but sometimes it's not about winning the tournament. It's just that some moments are very special for every player and today was one of them," the 26-year-old said.

Sakkari, whose only WTA title came on clay at Rabat in 2019, said that less than a year ago, the world number two ranking wouldn't have been on her radar. And it won't be at the forefront of her mind on Sunday.

"I'm not going to think about it because it has been already a very good tournament. And of course ranking-wise I see myself improving every single week. So I'm just going to embrace the fact that I have a chance," she said.