I for one am over the moon that this is the final women’s match in Indian Wells. I am huge fans of both Maria Sakkari and Iga Swiatek. In fact, I picked both as players to watch in January last year. Both are now top ten players and contenders at every tournament they play in. For Sakkari, this represents a first shot at a major tournament on the WTA Tour. For Swiatek, it’s a chance to win back to back WTA 1000 titles and confirm her status as one of the very best in the women’s game. You couldn’t ask for a better final and separating the two is a tricky task. Nevertheless, I will endeavour to do exactly that in my WTA Indian Wells final prediction.
WTA Indian Wells Final Prediction
Maria Sakkari vs Iga Swiatek
Head-to-head: 3 – 1 Sakkari
Sakkari finally broke through her semifinal barrier and has a shot at a major title for the first time in her career. Much has been made of the Greek’s inability to close out big matches in recent months. However, her level of tennis has always been high enough that it was only a matter of time. The Athenian has been one of the most consistent players in the women’s game over the last twelve months. She also has all the tools necessary to win big titles on a regular basis. All that was stopping her was herself and her inability to hold it together in important moments. However, her win against Paula Badosa in the last round will go a long towards banishing those demons.
Sakkari has played superb tennis all week and won all but her last match without much trouble. She has the aggression and power necessary to hit opponents off the court but is also a brilliant mover and defender when she needs to be. She will likely need to do a bit of both in this match to get past a red hot Iga Swiatek. The Young Pole seems destined to become world #1 at some point in the near future. I wrote at the Australian Open that she needed to prove she is more than a clay court queen and she is doing exactly that this year. Her title run in Doha was breath-taking and she has brilliant in flashes in Indian Wells too. However, what has truly impressed this week is her fighting ability and determination.,
Swiatek came back from a set down in three straight matches before dismantling Madison Keys and Simona Halep in her last two matches. If she plays at that level she will be very hard to beat. Sakkari has a better serve and should win more free points as a result. However, to win here she must do more than just serve well. If the Greek can pressure Swiatek’s serve and have the confidence to be aggressive throughout the match then she should be able to edge this one. Nerves may well get the better of Sakkari again here. However, I think she has what it takes to get the job done here and raise her first ever WTA 1000 title. I for one can’t wait to see that happen.
Prediction: Sakkari in 3