Poland’s Iga Swiatek clinched the women’s title at Indian Wells by beating Maria Sakkari 6-4 6-1 in the final to continue her solid start to the year.
The 2020 French Open champion who became the first Polish player to lift the Indian Wells trophy, coped better with the windy conditions in California than the Greek, claiming the decisive one of the seven breaks of serve in the first set.
The 20-year-old went 3-1 up in the second to set up a win that will lift her to a career-high second in the world rankings.
After winning the fifth WTA title of her career, Swiatek said: “I actually think I kind of had to win ugly because I felt like sometimes the ball is not going the direction I want.
“It was pretty hard to play with precision today.
“Today was pretty crazy because of the conditions.
“After playing so well at previous tournaments, I didn’t know if it was possible for me to play that well and that long.”
Sakkari won only five of 29 points on her second serve—including just two in what proved the decisive first set. Serving at 4-5 in the opener, she fought off two set points, but in the third deuce of that game, double-faulted and then lined a backhand into the net.
The victory was Swiatek’s 11th in a row in a year where she reached the Australian Open semi-finals before lifting the title in Doha last month.