Iga Swiatek’s hot streak continued with a 6-4 6-1 victory over Maria Sakkari in the final of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
In securing back-to-back WTA 1000 titles, Swiatek climbed to No. 2 in the world - becoming only the second Pole to do so after Agnieszka Radwanska.
Swiatek beat Sakkari on the road to the title in Doha last month, and she proved too strong once again after a topsy-turvy start.
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In blustery conditions, serving was difficult and the opening set saw a host of breaks.
Two double faults from Swiatek in the opening game enabled Sakkari to break to love.
The double faults were contagious as Sakkari threw one in at break-point down to give back the advantage she had earned.
The first hold came in the fifth game, with Swiatek producing some big hitting - along with an ace - to edge ahead.
Back to back double faults from Sakkari handed Swiatek her third break of serve on the spin, but the Greek broke back to love.
The pair appeared to settle into the contest with a couple of love holds, but the set turned Swiatek’s way in the 10th game.
Sakkari appeared to get out of trouble with a brilliant crosscourt forehand on the run to stave off set point. It had the crowd on their feet and brought a roar of delight from the Greek, but she gifted another chance with a double fault and despite fending that off with a big serve, Swiatek took the set at the third time of asking when her opponent threw a backhand into the net.
Swiatek threw in an alarming double fault in the third game of the second set, with her second serve missing the target by about three feet, but she steeled herself to hold; it stopped a Sakkari revival in its tracks.
For some of the impressive hitting Sakkari produced, she was too vulnerable on serve and two double faults in the fourth game of the second set handed the advantage to Swiatek - and drained the belief from the Greek player.
Swiatek backed up the break with a love hold to lead 4-1 in the second set. With the cushion of a break against an opponent she got the better of recently, the Pole stepped up and broke again for a 5-1 lead.
The serving woes of the first set were a thing of the past for Swiatek, and she took victory with an outside-in forehand down the line - and threw her racket in the air in delight before heading to her box to celebrate the fifth title of her career.
A Grand Slam winner before the age of 22, on an 11-match winning run and now the world No. 2 - Swiatek is on an upward trajectory.
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