Iga Swiatek continues to dominate WTA 1000 events this season, taking down No. 6 seed Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-1 to win the BNP Paribas Open on Sunday.

Swiatek, who has now won a career-best 11 straight matches and became the first woman to reach 20 wins this season, also claimed the WTA 1000 Qatar TotalEnergies Open title in Doha last month. With her fifth career WTA Tour singles title, Swiatek rose to No. 2 in the world rankings, behind Australian Open champion Ash Barty.

“[The World No. 2 ranking is] pretty surreal for now,” Swiatek said after the match. “I have to look at it and I have to check the rankings by myself and just see it. Right now it’s too surreal to describe it, honestly. … But for sure, I want to go higher because I feel like getting No. 1 is closer and closer.”

The 20-year-old dominated the entire 80-minute match to pull even with Sakkari in their career matchup record. The two now have three wins apiece against each other.

“At the beginning of the tournament, I wouldn’t even think about winning, honestly,” Swiatek said. “Of course you have to believe in yourself, but I’m a realistic person.

“Winning after playing so well in Doha is giving me a lot of confidence and kind of belief that I can do it. … I wouldn’t think of myself as someone who’s ready to play two tournaments in a row and win it. For sure, hard work is paying off.

Despite the loss, Sakkari rose to a career-high No. 3 ranking, joining Stefanos Tisitsipas as the highest-ranked Greek players in history.

“I can’t believe there’s only two girls above me right now,” Sakkari said after the final. “Whoever followed my steps the last couple of years, they know what that means to me.

“I think I played some very, very good matches. I really believe I took a step forward this week, even though I lost today. It was a week that will have a special place in my heart. I know it sounds kind of weird because I did not win the tournament, but I felt like I improved as a player this week. I’m just going to take that with me and move forward.”

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.

Iga Swiatek won her ninth consecutive match on Wednesday, handedly defeating No. 25 seed Madison Keys in straight sets 6-1, 6-0.

With the win, the No. 3 seed advances to the semifinals where she’ll face off against Simona Halep.

Swiatek reeled off the first five games of the match to take a 5-1 lead in the first set. She didn’t drop a point after that, dominating Keys and going 3-for-3 on break points.

Swiatek is the first player on the WTA Tour to advance to four semifinals in 2022, having made the semifinals in Adelaide, at the Australian Open, in Doha and now at Indian Wells. The 20-year-old is also the youngest player to reach the semifinals at the BNP Paribas Open since Bianca Andreescu in 2019.

With nine wins in a row, Swiatek is also the youngest player to achieve such a feat on hard courts since Andreescu in 2019. She is 18-3 on the season in match-wins, which leads the tour. At WTA 1000 events, Swiatek is undefeated, having claimed the first WTA 1000 tournament title of the year in Doha.

“I felt really comfortable,” Swiatek said after the 56-minute match. “I’m also trying to get some fun as well from matches which are tight. Right now I’m more focused on finding solutions and I want every match to be a lesson for me.”

It’s a great start to the year for Swiatek, who finished No. 9 last year in the world rankings and parted ways with long-time coach Piotr Sierzputowski. She’s currently up to No. 4 in the world, which ties her career high.

She’ll face off against Halep for the fourth time in the semifinal. Their previous three meetings have all come at Grand Slam events, with Halep holding a 2-1 lead over Swiatek. Halep disposed of Petra Martic in the quarterfinal 6-1, 6-1.

World No. 7 Paula Badosa and US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez will meet in the round of 16 at Indian Wells after each won their fourth round matches on Monday.

It will be the sixth meeting between the two opponents, with Badosa holding a 3-2 lead over the world No. 32.

Badosa continued her title defense at Indian Wells, taking down Sara Sorribes Tormo 7-6(4), 6-1 in an 82-minute win. She is seeking to become the first woman to defend the title at the BNP Paribas Open in more than 30 years. Martina Navratilova was the last to do so, winning titles in 1990 and 1991.

The first set featured six consecutive breaks of serve before Badosa snapped it to hold to 4-3. Sorribes Tormo responded, saving five break points during four of the five remaining games in the opening set. Badosa then sealed the set with a heavy forehand blast that went uncontrolled by Sorribes Tormo.

“I think today she played very, very good in the first set. She was a very tough opponent,” Badosa said after the match. “I was expecting that. She’s a fighter. Last year was amazing for her. The bad part is that we know each other very well. Before I was hitting she already was in the spot.”

Fernandez will face Badosa after avenging a loss from last October at Indian Wells and defeating Shelby Rogers in three sets, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3.

The No. 18 seed dominated on her service games, facing no break points in the first set and winning 87.5 percent of her first-serve points. Rogers claimed the second set after taking a 3-0 lead. She was unable to stop Fernandez, who took a 3-0 lead in the final set and never looked back.

“Leylah, I mean, she’s coming from winning a tournament. She’s with lots of confidence. She’s an amazing player,” Badosa said of Fernandez. “I was going to say she’s the future because she is very young, but I think she is in the present already. I expect a very tough match.”

Naomi Osaka was brought to tears after being heckled by a spectator during her second-round loss to Veronika Kudermetova at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday.

An Indian Wells onlooker yelled, “Naomi, you suck,” early on in Osaka’s 6-0, 6-4 defeat, causing the tennis star to become visually emotional on the court.

Following the match, Osaka stayed on the court to address the fans during her post-game interview.

“To be honest, I’ve been heckled before, it doesn’t really bother me, but being heckled here, I watched a video of Venus and Serena getting heckled here, if you’ve never watched it you should watch it, and I don’t know why, but it got into my head and it got replayed a lot,” said Osaka.

The Williams sisters boycotted the event for over a decade, starting in 2001 after receiving abuse from fans during the tournament.

Osaka has been outspoken about her mental health struggles and the pressures of the spotlight, withdrawing from the French Open and Wimbledon last season. The 24-year-old returned to the U.S. Open but took another brief hiatus from the court before returning to the Tour.

Osaka is currently ranked No. 78 in the world and was unseeded entering Indian Wells.

No. 16 seed Coco Gauff bounced fellow American Claire Liu 6-1, 7-6(4) Friday night in Indian Wells, advancing to the tournament’s third round.

Gauff bested Liu in just over two hours, dropping only two break points throughout their two-set battle. After sprinting out to a commanding opening-set lead, Gauff held off a surging Lui to close out a tight second set.

Friday night’s victory sets up a thrilling third-round matchup against No. 24 Simona Halep, who pulled out a three-set win over Ekaterina Alexandrova in the second round. Halep won the only previous meeting between her and Gauff, defeating the American teen in 2019’s Wimbledon.

Gauff and Halep will face off in Indian Wells on Sunday.

Naomi Osaka was down but not out Friday at the BNP Paribas Open, rallying against Sloane Stephens to take a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory.

It’s Osaka’s first win against Stephens in three matchups in what was a much-anticipated first-round clash at the Indian Wells tournament. The two last played in the 2018 WTA Finals in Shenzhen and had their first meeting in Acapulco in 2016.

It was also Osaka’s first time back at Indian Wells in three years. She withdrew last year, citing mental health reasons.

Osaka led the first set 3-1, 30-0 before Stephens made a five-game run to take the first set. Osaka then rebounded, winning the first four games of the second set and giving up just one game to take a 6-1 win in the second. In the decider, she went down 0-2 before saving three break points and mounting the comeback win.

The winds were high inside Stadium 1, with sustained desert gusts wreaking havoc on service tosses and ball bounces on the court.

“It was a bit frustrating but it was also funny at the same time because there was debris flying around the court,” said Osaka, currently ranked No. 78 in the world. “I’ve also never played a match that was that windy, so it was also a new experience.

“I haven’t played in wind like that for a while, so this was very new to me. I felt like I was fighting for my life. I was playing against her; I was playing against the wind. It was crazy. I just kept thinking she was going through the same circumstances as me, so I just had to will myself to try as hard as I could.”

Osaka will next take on Veronika Kudermetova.

Elsewhere, Amanda Anisimova cruised past Emma Navarro in just 53 minutes, securing the 6-2, 6-2 win. She’ll take on Canadian teen phenom Leylah Fernandez in the second round.