Everything you need to know about the 2023 Indian Wells final
INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — The BNP Paribas Open final is set and it features a blockbuster rematch between Australian Open champion and World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka and Wimbledon champion and No.10 Elena Rybakina. The last time the two met was in January, where Sabalenka prevailed in three sets in one of the most riveting major finals of the last five years.
Into her first WTA 1000 final, can Rybakina get her revenge? Or will Sabalenka continue to make her mark as the player to beat on the Hologic WTA Tour in 2023 by picking up her third title of the season?
Here’s what you need to know about the Indian Wells final:
When is the women’s singles final?
The Indian Wells singles final will be played on Sunday, March 19 at 1:00 p.m. PT.
What are the points and prize money at stake?
Indian Wells is a WTA 1000-level tournament. By making the final, Sabalenka and Rybakina have guaranteed themselves $662,360 in prize money and 650 ranking points.
Sunday’s winner will take home a prize-money check of $1,262,220 and 1,000 ranking points
Final Preview: Making the case for Sabalenka and Rybakina
How did Sabalenka and Rybakina get here?
Seeded No.2 in the tournament, Sabalenka has lost just one set en route to her third final of the season. The reigning Australian Open champion has defeated Evgeniya Rodina, Dubai champion Barbora Krejcikova, and back-to-back Top 10 opponents in Coco Gauff and Maria Sakkari.
Similarly, No.10 seed Rybakina has also lost one set en route to her first WTA 1000 final and second final of the season. She has tallied wins over former No.2 Sofia Kenin, 2021 champion Paula Badosa, Varvara Gracheva, Karolina Muchova, and World No.1 and defending champion Iga Swiatek.
How do they stack up?
This is the second meeting between Sabalenka and Rybakina this season and fifth overall. Sabalenka has won all four of their prior matches, including the Australian Open final, but all their matches have gone a full three sets.
‘A joy to watch’ – Social media reacts to the Australian Open final
In January, Sabalenka and Rybakina played one of the best Grand Slam finals in recent memory, with Sabalenka prevailing at Melbourne Park 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 to win her first major title.
What are they saying?
Sabalenka: “I feel really good on court right now, but I also have the understanding that it’s not going to be the same all the time. So that’s why I keep working hard, make sure in those days when things are not working my way, I still will be able to compete and to get these wins.
“That’s great to be one of the best players. I just want to keep working, I just keep want to keep showing my best tennis and keep winning. It feels really great to keep winning.”
Rybakina: “I’m happy that even if I was saying that [the court is] not my advantage — this surface, because it’s too slow — I think that in the end it proves to me that I actually can play in such slow conditions. It’s only good for me.
“In the end, if physically I feel well and I’m healthy, it’s possible to play on any surface for me, which is a good thing.”
Sabalenka: “I think because I was struggling a lot last year, with my serve and with so many things happening last year, I think because of that, I will say I went through hell, and I think that’s why I’m able to be more calm on court. I’m able to kind of control myself better and have this understanding that this is just tennis.
“If you work hard, if you do everything you can to prepare yourself as good as you can, that’s everything that I can control. On the court, I just have to keep fighting no matter what.”
Rybakina: “I lost the last four times and it was always like three sets. I think just to play better in these important moments and hold the serve, because I think a few times it was just because of one break.
“It’s gonna be not an easy match, and it’s gonna be in these clutch moments I just need to play better. Hopefully now it’s gonna change the score between us.”