Top seed Iga Swiatek takes on 10th seed Elena Rybakina in the semifinals of the 2023 Indian Wells on Friday.
The Polish star has reached her third consecutive semifinal and is yet to drop a set in her Indian Wells campaign this season. She began with a one-sided win against Claire Liu in the round of 64. The match ended 6-0, 6-1 in favor of the world No. 1. Swiatek went on to beat Bianca Andreescu in the round of 32. The first set was straightforward for Swiatek but she had to dig deep to finish the match in the second set. Swiatek eventually won 6-3, 7-6 (7-1).
The 3-time Grand Slam champion made light work of Emma Raducanu in the round of 16. Swiatek won the match 6-3, 6-1 with a win percentage of 88 on the first serve. In the quarterfinals, Swiatek eased past Romanian veteran, Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-3, converting 5 out of 8 break points.
The 23-year-old has been in fine form as well. She has just lost one set in the tournament thus far. In the round of 64, she dug deep to defeat Sofia Kenin 7-6 (8-6), 7-6 (7-5). Rybakina followed it up with a thumping 6-3, 7-5 win against 21st seed Paula Badosa. Rybakina’s opponent in the round of 16 was the talented Varvara Gracheva. The Russian player couldn’t play to her potential against an in-form Rybakina, losing the match 3-6, 0-6. The Kazakhstani No. 1 converted 7 out of 12 break points in the encounter.
Rybakina lost her first set in the tournament against Karolina Muchova in the quarterfinals. After winning a closely-contested first set, Rybakina was outplayed by Muchova in the second set. The 2022 Wimbledon champion managed to hold her nerves to win the third set, finishing the match 7-6 (7-4), 2-6, 6-4.
Head-to-Head and Prediction
The head-to-head currently stands at 1-1. Rybakina won their most recent clash in the fourth round of the Australian Open 6-4, 6-4 in January.
Prediction: Iga Swiatek to win in three sets.
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