Maria Sakkari targets second straight Indian Wells final

Sign up to our free sport newsletter for all the latest news on everything from cycling to boxing

Sign up to our free sport email for all the latest news

Thanks for signing up to the
Sport email

Seventh-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece kept her title hopes alive by battling back to beat Ukrainian Anhelina Kalinina 3-6, 6-2, 6-4.

Sakkari drew Kalinina to the net with a drop shot and then fired a backhand winner down the line on match point to complete the comeback.

The Greek leaned over and pumped her fists in celebration after sealing the win on a hot day in the Southern California desert.

“I don’t mind winning ugly,” she said afterwards.

“It doesn’t really matter. I just give myself another chance to play better the next day.”

Sakkari, a finalist in Indian Wells last year, will next face 17th seed Karolina Pliskova in the round of 16 after the Czech beat Russia’s Veronika Kudermetova 6-1 7-5.


Third-seeded American Jessica Pegula edged Russia’s Anastasia Potapova 3-6, 6-4, 7-5, to set up a meeting with Petra Kvitova after the 15th-seeded Czech won a rollercoaster match against Jelena Ostapenko 0-6, 6-0, 6-4.

Pegula still finds it “weird” to think of herself as the world number three but the 29-year-old said she no longer feels any additional pressure to live up to her career-high ranking.

The American broke into the top 10 at Roland Garros last year and rose to third after winning her first WTA 1000 title in Guadalajara in October.

She has reached the quarter-finals at four of the last five Grand Slams but is yet to break through to the semis, falling short again at the Australian Open in January.

“Maybe at first I felt a little bit of pressure,” Pegula said on Sunday after her win over Potapova. “People talk about you more, you become a favourite more.


“I’m good at just thinking one match at a time, I think that’s helped where I haven’t really felt too much pressure as being top five. It’s so weird to think at I’m three in the world. I don’t even like to say it, it’s awkward.

“When I’m out there, that doesn’t really enter my mind. I’m very good at just not taking that part for granted or not overthinking that.”

Elsewhere, Sweden’s Rebecca Peterson dispatched Jil Teichmann of Switzerland 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

16th seeded Czech Barbora Krejcikova beat China’s Wang Xinyu 6-2, 7-6(1), 6-2, and sixth-seeded American teenager Coco Gauff beat Czech Linda Noskova 6-4, 6-3.

Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka advanced via walkover when her Ukrainian opponent Lesia Tsurenko withdrew.


Source: Read Full Article