The BNP Paribas Open came to a close on Sunday after an exciting two weeks of tennis out in the California desert, as Poland’s Iga Swiatek captured the women’s singles title, which was followed by American Taylor Fritz winning the men’s singles event and winning the biggest title of his career.
Swiatek outdueled Greece’s Maria Sakkari 6-4, 6-1 to win her 11th straight match and win her second consecutive title after her triumph in Doha before arriving in Indian Wells.
“At the beginning of the tournament, I wouldn’t even think about winning, honestly,” said Swiatek, who beat Sakkari in the semifinals of Doha. “Of course, you have to believe in yourself, but I’m a realistic person. Winning after playing so well in Doha is giving me a lot of confidence and kind of belief that I can do it. I wouldn’t think of myself as someone who’s ready to play two tournaments in a row and win it. For sure, hard work is paying off.”
The wind played a major factor on Sunday with gusts negatively affecting serves all day long, and it helped Swiatek break serve to take the opening set 6-4. She then broke for a 3-1 lead in the second set and never looked back, breaking one more time for a 5-1 lead to all but close out the championship match.
With the win, Swiatek now moves up to No. 2 in the world.
“It’s pretty surreal for now. I have to look at it and I have to check the rankings by myself and just see it,” said Swiatek. “Right now it’s too surreal to describe it, honestly. But for sure, I want to go higher because I feel like getting No. 1 is closer and closer.”
Later in the day, Fritz would win the first Masters 1000 title of his career, downing Spain’s Rafael Nadal 6-3, 7-6(5). Fritz wasn’t sure if he would be able to play the match earlier in the day, but the American fought through a lingering ankle injury to stun Nadal.
“I can’t even begin to describe how ridiculous it is that I was able to play how I could play today,” said Fritz. “I’ve never experienced worse pain in my life before a match. We did a lot of work leading up to the match and I went through a roller coaster of emotions before the match, from thinking there was no way I could possibly play to then doing all this work on the ankle, doing so much stuff to it…I came out here and it didn’t really affect me at all.”
Nadal entered Sunday having not lost a match throughout all of 2022, but Fritz took the game to him early. Fritz jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the opening set, and after he secured the first, Nadal would take a medical timeout in between sets.
The second set would go into a tiebreak, where Fritz got the better of Nadal, closing out the title with a forehand winner.
“Winning this tournament especially, Indian Wells, this is one of those childhood dreams that you just never think can come true,” said Fritz, a native of Southern California.
Fritz catapults up to No. 13 in the world rankings, while Nadal moves up one spot to No. 3.