You are currently viewing WTA Indian Wells 2023: Aryna Sabalenka vs. Maria Sakkari Tennis Pick and Prediction

WTA Indian Wells 2023: Aryna Sabalenka vs. Maria Sakkari Tennis Pick and Prediction

TennisSection previews the 2023 WTA Indian Wells tournament as Aryna Sabalenka takes on Maria Sakkari in the semifinal on Friday, March 17, 2023.

Aryna Sabalenka has powered through the draw at Indian Wells but faces the juggernaut that is Maria Sakkari who has escaped unscathed with four successive three-set wins this fortnight. Will Sabalenka’s march hit a snag on Friday?

Aryna Sabalenka vs. Maria Sakkari Match Preview

Aryna Sabalenka has played like the great champion she is. The new Australian Open champion improved to 16-1 for the season with a straight-sets demolition of American teenage phenom Coco Gauff, dropping just four games, in a 6-4 6-0 rout. Sabalenka handled the nerves and occasion a lot better than Gauff, with both players contesting their maiden quarterfinal at Indian Wells. Ultimately, the red-hot Sabalenka sailed through with a masterful serving display in which she did not face a single break point.

Maria Sakkari, meanwhile, came back from the brink in her quarterfinal match against Petra Kvitova to reach a second successive semifinal at Indian Wells (reached the final in 2022) and set up a mouthwatering meeting against Aryna Sabalenka. Sakkari was a set down to the Czech lefty and was 1-3 down, 15-40 in the second set. But the Greek withstood Kvitova’s big hitting under pressure and turned the match around in devastating fashion to win 4-6 7-5 6-1 and is now the joint leader with three-set wins.

Aryna Sabalenka vs. Maria Sakkari Prediction and Pick

Aryna Sabalenka leads Maria Sakkari 4-3 in their head-to-head. However, Sakkari has defeated Sabalenka in back-to-back WTA Finals round-robin matches in their last two meetings. The Greek called her scintillating three-set win over Kvitova ”one of the best comebacks of my life”. But you have to wonder how much gas she has left in the tank both physically and mentally. Sakkari has played the most three-set matches this year with seven (joint leader with Potapova) and she is one of the fittest atheltes on the WTA Tour. At the same time, I don’t think she can afford to give Sabalenka any cushion in this match. When Sabalenka breaks out of the gates quickly, it is almost impossible to stop her. I expect the Greek to put on a show again, but momentum is firmly with the Belarusian to pick up another routine win.

Free Tennis Prediction and Pick: Aryna Sabalenka in 2 sets

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