Maria Sakkari reacts to a tough point win against Petra Kvitova during the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., March 15, 2023.
Bnp Wed 12
- Maria Sakkari and Aryna Sabalenka meet for the eighth time, in the Indian Wells semifinals Friday
- Sakkari has won the last two editions, but Sabalenka is the favorite in the Sakkari vs Sabalenka odds
- Read on as we break down our Sakkari vs Sabalenka prediction and see if Sakkari can pull off the upset
Will Maria Sakkari even up the Sakkari vs Sabalenka rivalry at 4-4? Or will Aryna Sabalenka pull ahead, and reach the Indian Wells final in the process?
Sakkari vs Sabalenka Odds
| Maria Sakkari (GRE)||+4.5 (-136)||+220||O 21.5 (-110)|
| Aryna Sabalenka (BLR)||-4.5 (+102)||-275||U 21.5 (-122)|
At -275 odds, Sabalenka is the favorite in this Sakkari vs Sabalenka semifinal match Friday at Indian Wells (not before 6 pm EDT). Sakkari is the underdog at +220 odds.
Odds as of March 16 at FanDuel.
Sakkari and Sabalenka haven’t met that often in their careers, despite playing mostly the same events every year and both being top 10 for awhile now.
On average, it has happened about once a season. But after Sabalenka won four straight – three of them in three different Middle Eastern nations – Sakkari has won the last two clashes – at the WTA Finals in 2021, and again in 2022.
Still, Sabalenka is now the Australian Open champion, and is the favorite.
Sakkari Escapes vs Kvitova
For all the world, it appeared Petra Kvitova would make the Indian Wells semifinals for the first time in her long career.
She had been a quarterfinalist twice, but mostly a third-round type of player as the conditions don’t really suit her well.
But as soon as it seemed a done deal, it wasn’t. And Sakkari ran away with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-1 victory that puts her into the semis for the second straight year. Last year, she made the final, too.
Sakkari had a rough road – four quality opponents, four three setters – and in three of those, she had to come back from a set down.
If she gets down a set against Sabalenka, it may well prove to be the toughest road of all.
Sakkari vs Sabalenka Head-to-Head
|27 (July 25, 1995)||Age||24 (May 5, 1998)|
|Athens, Greece||Birthplace||Minsk, Belarus|
|5||Career WTA Singles Titles||12|
|No. 3 (March 21, 2022)||Career-Best Ranking||No. 2 (Aug. 23, 2021)|
|No. 7||Current Ranking||No. 2|
|$8,674,380||Career Prize Money||$14,446,131|
|15-5||2022 Won/Loss Record||17-1|
Sabalenka’s path has been clearer and less physically taxing.
First a player on a protected ranking (Rodina), and then a qualifier (Lesia Tsurenko who didn’t make the date at all). She had a tough three-setter against the worthy Barbora Krejickova in the round of 16.
And then, she dismissed young American Coco Gauff as if she were a rank-and-file player and not the No. 6 player in the world. Sabalenka dished out a bagel in the 6-4, 6-0 victory.
Iga Swiatek vs Elena Rybakina Odds & Prediction – Indian Wells Women’s Semifinals
Sakkari vs Sabalenka Match History
|2022||WTA Finals (RR)||Indoor Hard||6-2, 6-4||Sakkari|
|2021||WTA Finals (RR)||Outdoor Hard||7-6 (1), 6-7 (6), 6-3||Sakkari|
|2021||Abu Dhabi (SF)||Outdoor Hard||6-3, 6-2||Sabalenka|
|2020||Doha (R16)||Outdoor Hard||6-3, 6-0||Sabalenka|
|2020||Dubai (R32)||Outdoor Hard||6-2, 4-6, 6-1||Sabalenka|
|2019||Zhuhai (RR)||Indoor Hard||6-3, 6-4||Sabalenka|
|2019||Cincinnati Masters (R16)||Outdoor Hard||6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4||Sakkari|
Sakkari vs Sabalenka Prediction
Sabalenka is a fairly strong favorite in the Sakkari vs Sabalenka odds, perhaps in part based on her three wins in desert-like conditions in the Middle East (and also because she’s the higher-ranked player, and the Grand Slam champion).
Sakkari had to throw the kitchen sink at her to eke out that win at the WTA Finals in 2021.
Last year in the same event, Sabalenka was having woeful serve toss problems. Considering that, it was already a victory to even make the WTA Finals in Texas. So that loss wasn’t a huge surprise.
It does feel like Sabalenka is a different player in 2023; perhaps having the longed-for first major in her back pocket has released her from a lot of uncertainty.
As fast as Sakkari is, Sabalenka does virtually everything else better. She has the kind of aggressive power that can get through even the gritty, slow conditions at Indian Wells.
And obviously she serves a lot better – first and second serves, both.
That said, it’s probably a better overall surface for Sakkari – as evidenced by her run to the final a year ago.
Sakkari vs Sabalenka Picks: 1st Set Will Have the Most Games (+105); Sabalenka to win the first set, and the match (-158)
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Stephanie gets the straight dope from the tennis insiders. On court, she has represented her country internationally. A BA in journalism led to years on the MLB beat and a decade covering tennis globally. She’s written for Postmedia, the Guardian, the New York Times and also publishes OpenCourt.ca.