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Tennis-Swiatek downs Sakkari to win second Indian Wells title

Tennis: BNP Paribas Open-Day 12

By Rory Carroll

(Reuters) -World number one Iga Swiatek dominated ninth seed Maria Sakkari to win the Indian Wells final 6-4 6-0 and claim the title for a second time in the California desert on Sunday.

In a rematch of the 2022 showpiece, Swiatek's precise serving and speedy defence proved too much for her Greek opponent and the Pole reeled off the final eight games to close out a tournament where she never dropped a set.

"I'm really proud of myself, I'm super happy," Swiatek told reporters. "Even though this tournament looked like, the scores, maybe I had everything under control, it wasn't from the beginning to the end so easy.

"So I'm happy I could improve during the tournament. I felt really good on the last two matches, big amount of confidence. I'm really proud of myself."

Swiatek, who won her third straight Qatar Open in Doha last month, beamed a big smile on the sun-soaked stadium court after getting her hands on the Indian Wells trophy again.

"Right now I just feel I've done really good work," said the 22-year-old, who was upset in the third round of January's Australian Open.

"It hasn't been easy after Australia, and I've been working hard to play well and to handle everything mentally well."

The top seed came out firing in Sunday's final, building a 3-0 lead before Sakkari worked her way back into the set for 4-4.

But on her third set point, the Pole dragged Sakkari from one side of the court to the other before capturing the opener with a forehand winner.

Swiatek dominated the second, crushing a running backhand for a 3-0 lead and then breaking serve for 4-0 as the outmatched Greek began to fade.

A backhand winner down the line put Swiatek a game away and she sealed the win by breaking serve to love when Sakkari's forehand sailed wide on match point.

"It's an amazing thing to be standing here again," Swiatek told the crowd during the trophy ceremony.

"Thank you for really making this feel like home. Every year that I come here I feel really positive vibes because of you."

Swiatek is now 19-4 in career finals and 8-2 at the WTA 1000 level while Sakkari has a 2-8 record in showpiece matches.

"I'm sorry I couldn't put up a better fight," Sakkari told the crowd after the match lasted just over an hour.

"It was pretty quick for you guys but credit to Iga... You and your team have created something incredible. I'm really hoping we can play a lot more finals."

Swiatek, a four-times Grand Slam champion, has now won a WTA-leading 20 matches this season and has two titles after her triumph at the Qatar Open in February.

The Pole will look to capture her second "Sunshine Double" with a win at the Miami Open.

(Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los AngelesEditing by Toby Davis and Ken Ferris)