Iga Swiatek downs Simona Halep in straight sets to reach Indian Wells final

(Photo by Robert Prange/Getty Images)

Iga Swiatek is heading to the Indian Wells final after defeating 2015 champion Simona Halep 7-6(6), 6-4 in the BNP Paribas Open semifinals on Friday.

After going down a break in each set, the Polish star recovered for the resilient 1-hour, 49-minute win over Halep. Swiatek is now 10-0 in WTA 1000 events this season as the 20-year-old continues her impressive start to the year.

“Today I had to come back from some breaks as well, so I think mentally it was the toughest one,” Swiatek said after the match.

Swiatek will face Maria Sakkari in the BNP Paribas Open final on Sunday after the world No. 6 took down defending champion Paula Badosa 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 in the semifinals.

Sakkari dominated the opening set, firing 11 winners to Badosa’s two. After a tight second set, Sakkari got back on track in the third, deploying a fierce baseline game to cruise past the world No. 7.

“I work my entire life to get to this, to the late stages of the tournaments. It means a lot to me,” Sakkari said through tears during her post-match interview. Sunday will mark the first WTA 1000 final of Sakkari’s career.

Sakkari holds a 3-1 head-to-head advantage over Swiatek, but Swiatek got the better of the Greek star just three weeks ago. The winner of Sunday’s final will clinch the No. 2 ranking.