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Iga Swiatek sweeps past Marta Kostyuk into Indian Wells final

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World number one Iga Swiatek overpowered Marta Kostyuk 6-2, 6-1 on Friday to reach the final at the ATP-WTA Indian Wells Masters.

Four-time Grand Slam champion Swiatek, who won the 2022 Indian Wells title, needed just 69 minutes to get past 32nd-ranked Ukrainian Kostyuk and will face either US Open champion Coco Gauff or Maria Sakkari of Greece in Sunday’s final.

Ninth-ranked Sakkari, who fell to Swiatek in the 2022 Indian Wells final, had taken the first set 6-4 from third-ranked Gauff when rain temporarily put their match on hold.

Swiatek and Kostyuk avoided the desert showers, but played in overcast, chilly conditions that did nothing to slow the red-hot Swiatek.

“I think it was the cleanest match I played here,” said Swiatek, who hit 14 winners with just six unforced errors and didn’t face a break point. “I didn’t really have any moment today in the match where I didn’t feel confident.

“I have all the positive vibes.”

Although she has reached the final without dropping a set, Iga Swiatek had insisted after prior victories that she had a few things in her game to sort out.

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It looked as if she had done just that as she put Kostyuk on the run early, piling on the pressure with her precision and power.

The Ukrainian, playing in her first 1000 level semi-final, held serve to open the match, but Swiatek won the next five games and pocketed the opening set in half an hour.

Kostyuk, who finished with 17 winners and 23 unforced errors, could find no way to right the ship.

She fell behind 3-0 in the second set and required treatment on her left foot apparently after jamming it during a point.

Swiatek was unfazed by the medical timeout, holding for a 4-0 lead and polishing off the victory with a service return winner for her fifth break of Kostyuk’s serve.

Iga Swiatek, 22, has come back strong from her disappointing third-round exit at the Australian Open.

She won the title in Doha and reached the semi-finals in Dubai, and her 19 match wins are the most of any WTA player this year.

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