World number two Aryna Sabalenka will be up against the seventh-ranked Maria Sakkari in the semifinal of the 2023 WTA Indian Wells Open on Friday, March 17. Get the live streaming options of this Aryna Sabalenka v Maria Sakkari match along with its preview, head to head, and tips here.
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Aryna Sabalenka v Maria Sakkari Head to Head
There have been seven previous meetings between these two players and Sabalenka leads 4-3. The last time they faced off was in the WTA Finals last year and it was Sakkari who had gotten past Sabalenka, making it two wins in a row for her.
Sabalenka Has No Trouble against Gauff
One would have thought the in-form Cori Gauff would find a way to trouble Sabalenka, much like Barbora Krejcikova had done in the previous round. While Sabalenka had escaped with a three-set win against Krejcikova, she needed a mere 65 minutes to send Gauff on her way.
Sabalenka won 6-4, 6-0 to march into another semifinal for the season following her title victory at the Australian Open.
She did not face a single break-point in the entire match while getting past Gauff’s serve on four occasions. What helped Sabalenka’s cause was her serving as she sent down five aces and did not double-fault even once in the entire encounter.
Adding to that, Sabalenka won 26 of her 30 first serve points, while Gauff managed a mere 57% of them.
The world number two now faces a tough opposition, a hard nut to crack by the looks of things.
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Sakkari Involved in Another Three-Set Tussle
Sakkari proceeded to 15-5 on win-loss this season after her quarterfinal victory over Petra Kvitova and seven of those 15 victories have come in three sets. Including the one against Kvitova.
It was Kvitova who took the early lead but Sakkari levelled things out by winning the second set despite being down 3-1 at one stage.
In the final set, Sakkari took full control of the encounter by breaking Kvitova in the fourth and sixth games and then served it out in the seventh to carve out a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 win in two hours and 17 minutes.
This was Sakkari’s fourth successive three-set win in this tournament with the Greek number one having gotten past Shelby Rogers, Anhelina Kalinina and Kvitova from being a set down as well.
She will have to do a lot better than lose the first set to Sabalenka if she wants to make it to her second successive final at the Indian Wells Open.
Sabalenka v Sakkari Prediction and Tip
Sabalenka has been in some incredible hitting form and her lack of errors against Gauff stood out. If that’s the kind of level she continues playing at, even Iga Swiatek will have her troubles against, let alone Sakkari.
Still, Sakkari’s fighting spirit in this tournament adds to a lot of intrigue in this encounter.
The 2023 WTA Indian Wells Open will be played from March 8 to 20. You can get all the tennis betting news with our tennis betting blog here. Also get rest of the tennis match previews here.