Australian Open champion Aryna Sabalenka defeated American teenager Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-0 to reach the semi-finals of the WTA and ATP Masters 1000 in Indian Wells on Wednesday.
Sabalenka, looking for a third title this year after victories in Adelaide and her first Grand Slam title in Melbourne, needed just 64 minutes to subdue the young American star and clash with two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in the final. Did. Indian Wells runner-up of the year, Maria Sakkari of Greece.
Sabalenka was in complete control of her serve, and Gauff had few options due to her ferocious ground strokes.
The Belarusian player had five aces and 18 winners in total. She did not face a break point and finished the match with three straight unbreakable serves.
“It was a great match,” Sabalenka said. “I felt really great on the court.
“I just put a lot of pressure on her serve and so she was struggling, especially with my serve in the second set. That helped me win the match in two sets.”
She avenged her loss to Gauff in Toronto last year and narrowed their head-to-head gap after losing three out of four matches against the American.
“I didn’t really think about our previous matches,” Sabalenka said. “I feel a little different on the court this year. I feel like I’m a little different player.
“I knew that if I was going to get myself on the tennis court today, I would have every chance to win this match.”
Gauff fired a half-dozen aces, 12 winners in total, but made 14 more unforced errors than her opponent under the intense pressure exerted by Sabalenka.
Sabalenka’s next opponent will be battle-tested. Seventh-ranked Sakkari has needed three sets in all three matches so far, while former world number two Kvitova saved four match points in her fourth-round win over third-ranked Jessica Pegula.