WTA Indian Wells Semifinal Prediction: Iga Swiatek vs Elena Ryabkina

Iga Swiatek at WTA Indian Wells

The once 96-woman draw at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells has dwindled to four as some of the world’s best look to capture this WTA 1000 title. The blockbuster match of semifinal Friday will feature world No. 1 Iga Swiatek going up against one of the most in-form players on tour, Elena Rybakina. We have the preview and prediction for that match, as well as the other semifinal featuring Aryna Sabalenka and Maria Sakkari. But who will advance?

WTA Indian Wells Semifinal Prediction

Iga Swiatek vs Elena Rybakina

Head-to-Head: Swiatek 1-1 Rybakina

Swiatek and Rybakina come into this match playing fabulous tennis. The world No. 1 holds a 16-3 record this season and has looked unbeatable in Indian Wells. Swiatek has yet to drop a set in four matches this week. In fact, she has lost just 19 games in those four matches. Swiatek’s consistency from the baseline has given her a massive advantage over the competition on the slow courts out in the desert. Ryabkina has also looked at home on the courts of Indian Wells. She has dropped just one set in four matches and rarely shows a dip in level. The 23-year-old holds a 14-5 record this season and finished as the runner-up at the first Slam of the year.

Rybakina won her most recent encounter against Swiatek, a 6-4 6-4 victory in the Round of 16 at the Australian Open. In that match, she powered six aces and kept Swiatek on her back foot. If Rybakina wants to repeat her performance from down under, she must display a consistent and effective first serve.

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Swiatek enjoys playing in the slower conditions the desert offers. Rybakina does not. I expect Swiatek to be less aggressive on service return and instead look to start every point and limit the number of aces from her opponent. Yes, Rybakina is one of the better ball strikers on Tour, but in these conditions, Swiatek will wear her down. I expect the Pole to dig in, limit her unforced errors, and force Rybakina to hit multiple lines if she wants to get the ball by her. Because of this, I believe Swiatek exacts her revenge on Rybakina in two tight sets.
Prediction: Swiatek in 2

Main Photo Credit: Taya Gray/The Desert Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK