Indian Wells Daily Preview: The Championship Matches in Men’s and Women’s Singles - UBITENNIS
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Indian Wells Daily Preview: The Championship Matches in Men’s and Women’s Singles

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Iga Swiatek during Friday’s semifinals (twitter.com/BNPPARIBASOPEN)

It’s championship Sunday in tennis paradise, featuring rematches from recent finals in the desert.

In the women’s singles championship match, it’s a rematch from the 2022 final, as World No.1 Iga Swiatek faces a rejuvenated Maria Sakkari.  And the men’s singles championship match is a rematch from just a year ago, as Carlos Alcaraz takes on Daniil Medvedev.  Will Iga and Carlitos become multi-time champions of this event, or will Maria and Daniil win their first Indian Wells titles?


Iga Swiatek (1) vs. Maria Sakkari (9) – 11:00am on Stadium 1

This is yet another tournament during which Swiatek has gone completely unchallenged.  She has not dropped a set, and lost only 17 games through nine completed sets.  Iga is 7-2 in WTA 1000 finals, and an excellent 18-4 in tour finals overall.

By contrast, four out of Sakkari’s five matches this fortnight have gone three sets, including the last two against top Americans Coco Gauff and Emma Navarro.  Friday’s night’s semifinal against Gauff was a dramatic, extended affair, which went late into the evening due to a long rain delay in the desert.  Playing such a draining contest, and then coming back just 36 hours later to play at 11:00am in the morning, with be an extremely challenging turnaround for Maria.

After a subpar 2023 season, Sakkari is back to playing her best tennis, in the first tournament of the working relationship with her new coach, David Witt.  She is 1-2 in WTA 1000 finals, though she just won her first title at this level six months ago in Guadalajara.  But Maria is a meek 2-7 in tour finals, and as per Tennis Abstract, is just 3-7 against top 10 opposition within the last year.

Sakkari claimed their first two meetings, back in 2021 before Swiatek rose to the top of the sport.  The last three have all gone to Iga, with the most recent being the 2022 final at this same event.  All five of their matches have been straight-setters.  So while this is Maria’s favorite event, and her new coach has helped restore her confidence, Iga remains a clear favorite to win her second title in Indian Wells.


Daniil Medvedev (4) vs. Carlos Alcaraz (2)  – Not Before 2:00pm on Stadium 1

Despite playing in a location where “it never rains,” both the men’s and women’s semifinals suffered from severe rain delays, leading to the men’s semis finishing much later on Saturday than expected.  And both went three sets, so neither Alcaraz nor Medvedev will be fully fresh on Sunday.  Carlitos came back from a set down to hand Jannik Sinner his first defeat of the year, while Daniil came from a set down to oust American Tommy Paul.

In the championship here a year ago, Alcaraz comfortably prevailed against a depleted Medvedev, who had won 19 matches in the month leading up to that final.  They would go on to play three more times in 2023, with Carlitos taking three of four.  However, Daniil was able to overcome the Spaniard in the US Open semifinals, winning 6-3 in the fourth.  Overall Alcaraz is 3-2 against Medvedev.

Carlitos has not been the same player since losing the near four-hour final last summer in Cincinnati to Novak Djokovic.  But his victory over Sinner on Saturday felt significant, and it brought him to his first final since that one in Cincinnati. 

Alcaraz is 12-4 in ATP finals, and 4-1 at this level.  Medvedev is 20-17 in ATP finals, and 6-3 in Masters finals.  Hard courts easily remain Daniil’s strongest surface, though he made it painfully clear here a year ago that the slower-playing courts in Indian Wells are not to his liking.  And coming off an inspiring effort to defeat Sinner, the ATP’s best player of the last six months, Carlitos should be favored to become the first man to defend this title since Djokovic in 2016.


Sunday’s full Order of Play is here.

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Roland Garros 2024: Iga Swiatek Aims To Overcome Naomi Osaka And Danielle Collins In Hat-Trick Bid

Iga Swiatek is the firm favourite in Paris once again as she looks to secure a third consecutive Roland Garros title.

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Iga Swiatek will need to overcome Naomi Osaka and Danielle Collins if she wants to win a third consecutive Roland Garros title.

The world number one is looking for more history in Paris and enters the tournament in confident form having won the Madrid-Rome double.

Swiatek will start her hat-trick bid against a qualifier before potentially facing Naomi Osaka in the second round.

Veronika Kudermetova could await in the third round with former champion Barbora Krejcikova awaiting in the last 16.

Former finalist Marketa Vondrousova or the in-form Danielle Collins complete a tough section of the draw for the three-time champion.

Potentially awaiting Swiatek in the semi-finals is the player she beat in 2022 to win the title in the form of Coco Gauff.

The American starts her campaign against a qualifier with Dayana Yastremska potentially awaiting in the third round.

A tough last 16 clash could await against Beatriz Haddad Maia with Jelena Ostapenko, Caroline Garcia and Ons Jabeur all potential quarter-final hurdles.

In the bottom half of the draw, Aryna Sabalenka has been given a very tough draw especially in the third round where Paula Badosa, Yulia Putintseva or Sloane Stephens could be present.

In-form Madison Keys could await in the last 16 while Maria Sakkari is in her quarter of the draw.

Sakkari starts against Varvara Gracheva before potentially facing Victoria Azarenka or Daria Kasatkina in the last 16.

Should Sabalenka get to the semi-finals then Elena Rybakina could await with the Kazakh facing Greet Minnen in her opener.

Former Grand Slam champion Angelique Kerber could be Rybakina’s second round opponent.

Elina Svitolina could await in the last 16 but the Ukrainian must get past Karolina Pliskova in her opener.

Finally Alize Cornet’s last ever tournament will start against Australian Open finalist Qinwen Zheng.

Here is the full draw with play starting on Sunday:

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Roland Garros 2024: Rafael Nadal Faces Alexander Zverev In Blockbuster Opening Round

Rafael Nadal and Alexander Zverev will meet at Roland Garros in the first round with Andy Murray taking on Stan Wawrinka in the opening round.

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Rafael Nadal has been drawn against Rome champion Alexander Zverev in the opening round of Roland Garros.

The 14-time Roland Garros champion will most likely be making his last appearance at the event where he has such a great history at.

It’s been a mixed clay court season for Nadal who built gradual momentum in Madrid but suffered an early exit in Rome to Hubert Hurkacz.

Now the Spaniard has been drawn to take on the champion of Rome, Alexander Zverev, in the opening round.

The match is a repeat of the 2022 semi-final where Zverev broke his ankle losing almost a year of his career.

This contest headlines the second quarter of the draw which also features Karen Khachanov, Holger Rune and Daniil Medvedev.

In the other quarter of the top half of the draw, defending champion Novak Djokovic will begin his Roland Garros campaign against Pierre-Hughes Herbert.

There is also a potential third round clash with either Gael Monfils or Lorenzo Musetti for Djokovic, who is currently in Geneva gaining extra match practice ahead of the second Grand Slam of the season.

The Serb could have a repeat of last year’s final in the quarter-finals with Casper Ruud as the Norwegian begins his campaign against Jakub Mensik.

In the bottom half of the draw Jannik Sinner plays his first tournament since suffering a hip injury in Rome as he takes on Christopher Eubanks in the opening round.

Sinner could face Cameron Norrie in the third round with the Brit taking on Pavel Kotov in his opening round before playing the winner of the battle of the Grand Slam champions between Andy Murray and Stan Wawrinka.

Murray and Wawrinka will clash for the fourth time at Roland Garros with Wawrinka leading their head-to-head 2-1 in Paris.

This section also includes in-form players such as Hubert Hurkacz, Alejandro Tabilo and Rome finalist Nicolas Jarry.

Finally Carlos Alcaraz will begin his Roland Garros campaign against a qualifier before potentially playing Jack Draper in the second round.

Another exciting clash awaits Alcaraz in the third round in the form of Sebastian Korda with Andrey Rublev or Stefanos Tsitsipas being potential quarter-final opponents.

This is the full draw with Roland Garros beginning on Sunday.

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Caroline Wozniacki’s Father Criticises WTA For Lack Of Help For Mothers On Tour

Caroline Wozniacki was not given a wildcard for Rome or Roland Garros.

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Piotr Wozniacki has labelled the WTA as ‘amateur’ for their treatment of mothers on tour as he claims that Caroline Wozniacki should have had more wildcards.

The former Australian Open champion has played ten events since she announced her comeback last year.

Wozniacki has recovered her ranking to 117 in the world and her comeback has resulted in a fourth round appearance at the US Open as well as a quarter-final result at Indian Wells.

However the Dane has not been successful in gaining wildcards recently with both Rome and Roland Garros not offering Wozniacki one.

It’s a decision that Wozniacki’s father, Piotr, has not been happy with as he explained with Sport.PL, “The WTA believes that it is operating in an amateur fashion in the world of the largest professional women’s sport of all sports in the world. They sign contracts with the players and the players are obliged to do certain things under these contracts. And what do they get? Nothing, really nothing!” Piotr was quoted by tennisuptodate as saying.

“All wild cards, and there were 8 of them, were given to the Italians. I understand promoting their players, but how can you give the right to play in a tournament of this rank to such girls who should not even think that they could play in a Masters yet?

“Caroline was number one in her ranking. She won a Grand Slam tournament, won the Masters, played in almost 60 finals of their tournaments and won 30. So we are talking about a complete tennis player, someone who did a great job, who certainly increased the popularity of tennis, who earned a lot of money herself, but let them earn money. even much more.

“And it turns out that when someone like Caroline Wozniacki comes back as Caroline Wozniacki and family, she is no longer welcome. We can’t even prepare Caroline’s starting plan! We train, we prepare, and it turns out that there is nothing to do.

“This is happening because today in tennis everything is based only on relationships, on acquaintances, and not on clear rules. The thing is that if we know the organizers or tournament directors, we get a chance to play, but if we don’t know someone somewhere, they don’t want us there.

“Naturally, after the maternity break, my daughter had zero points. It takes a lot of time to start from scratch and reach the top, but we would do it patiently, but how can we do it when you don’t let a girl like that work for it? The rules in tennis today are such that there is no longer a mandatory wild card for someone who was once in the top 20, had a long break and came back.

“This card was really helpful for tennis players coming back after having a baby and for those coming back from serious injuries. And now Caroline, Angelique Kerber or Naomi Osaka are dependent only on someone else’s decisions. Since last year, all wild cards are the property of the tournaments, and the WTA washes its hands of them.”

It’s clear the Wozniacki family is disappointed as the Dane could be set to cancel her comeback next year.

However there is optimism that Wozniacki will receive one at Wimbledon as she has had past success on grass courts.

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