Indian Wells: Sakkari rallies past Kvitova to return to semifinal

Karolina Pliskova, Maria Sakkari

The No.7 seed Greek player Maria Sakkari Maria Sakkari rallied from a set and a break down to defeat 15th seed Petra Kvitova 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 and advance to her second straight semifinal of the Indian Wells Masters.

The victory was Sakkari’s fourth consecutive three-set win in Indian Wells, with three of those wins coming from a set down. She is now the joint leader in three-set wins on tour this season, tying Anastasia Potapova with seven.

“Not only was I down a set and a break, but she made me play like an amateur in the first set. She was playing so well. I had to try and focus on different things, I had to try and look at the other side of the net to see what I could do to put her in uncomfortable positions and I think it worked. I just tried to play physical — all I can say is I need a pedicure because my feet are bleeding so badly,” said Sakkari after the match.

The Greek sets up a clash with No.2-seeded Aryna Sabalenka, who advanced to her third semifinal of the season by losing just four games to Coco Gauff, in Friday’s semifinals at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Sabalenka owns a narrow 4-3 lead in the head-to-head but Sakkari has won their last two meetings. Both wins came at the last two editions of the WTA Finals.