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Badosa back in Indian Wells semi-finals, will go up against Sakkari

Paula Badosa and Maria Sakkari will go head-to-head in the Indian Wells semis after they earned respective quarter-final victories on Thursday. Badosa beat Veronika Kudermetova, while Sakkari dismissed Elena Rybakina.

Paula Badosa (ESP) defeated Leylah Fernandez (CAN) 6-4, 6-4, at the BNP Paribas Open being played at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California on March 15, 2022: || 225043_0011 1000 2022 ATP BNP BNP PARIBAS OPEN CHAMPION Indian INDIAN WELLS MASTERS open Paribas PRESS sport tennis WTA zagency zcsm zselect zsports Zuma ZUMAPRESS.com zwire

WTA 1000 Indian Wells | Results | Schedule

Paula Badosa picked up the biggest win of her career at the BNP Paribas Open in 2021.

She may just do it again one year later — or to be exact: only five months later.

Badosa still has to win two more matches before she can accomplish the same feat of lifting the trophy in Indian Wells, but her title defense going strong and has her back in the semi-finals of the season’s first WTA 1000 tournament. The Spaniard extended her winning streak in the desert by beating Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 6-2 on Thursday afternoon.

“(I’m) really happy about my win today,” Badosa commented. “It was tough for me at the beginning because I never won versus Veronika; she’s a tough opponent. I’m happy I played very good today and I’m through semi-finals again.”

That is where she will run into Maria Sakkari, who earned her spot in the last four by beating Elena Rybakina. Sakkari recovered from a break down in the opening set to prevail 7-5, 6-4.

“I think I had a rough start,” Sakkari reflected. “I was a little bit nervous. But then I just had faith in my game. I knew that if I could break her back, I would get back into the match. Making a lot of balls after being 4-1 down gave me a good chance [of] coming back into the match.”

The Greek’s reward is a chance for revenge against Badosa, who won their only previous encounter 7-6(4), 6-4 at the WTA Finals just a few months ago. Whoever wins on Friday will battle either Simona Halep or Iga Swiatek for the title.

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