INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- No.9 Maria Sakkari advanced to her second BNP Paribas Open final after defeating No.3 Coco Gauff 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-2 in the semifinals on Friday night. 

Sakkari will play in her fourth WTA 1000 final and second at Indian Wells on Sunday. She will face World No.1 Iga Swiatek in a rematch of the 2022 final, which Swiatek won 6-4, 6-1. This will be the first meeting since that 2022 final. Sakkari leads the head-to-head 3-2, but Swiatek has won their last two meetings in straight sets. 

In the eighth career meeting between Gauff and Sakkari, the Greek star continued her resurgent fortnight in the California desert to extend her winning head-to-head over the American to 5-3. The victory ended Sakkari's five-match losing streak to Top 10 opposition and is her first Top 3 win since the 2022 WTA Finals.

"We always say in tennis one day can change everything, but a month ago I was in Abu Dhabi, I couldn't hit a ball over the net, and now I'm just here in one of the biggest tournaments playing another final," Sakkari said.  "Those are lessons and those are things that you have to just accept the more you're on the tour that you're going to have some bad times, and then things can really change in a week."

With the win, Sakkari has notched five consecutive victories for the first time since winning her first WTA 1000 title last fall in Guadalajara. 

How the match was won: The match rolled along without a break point until the first of two rain delays suspended play with Sakkari serving down 4-3. When play resumed, she quickly held to 4-4 and immediately earned triple break point thanks to an error-strewn serving game from the American. 

Gauff did well to claw her way back to deuce, but Sakkari saved game point and finally broke on her fifth break point and closed out the opening set.

During the set break, Gauff had her blood pressure and vitals assessed by the trainer just as a heavier dose of rain descended on the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

When play resumed, Sakkari continued her surge to build a 5-2 lead with a double-break, but Gauff came charging back. The American reeled off four consecutive games and saved three match points along the way before taking the match to a deciding set. 

Turning point: The final set began with an exchange of breaks before Sakkari took control by saving two break points from 15-40 down to hold to 2-1. She extended that lead to 3-1 by saving a game point to break. Then she pulled another Houdini act, saving another break point to hold and give herself an unassailable 4-1 lead. Sakkari broke Gauff one final time to seal the win after 2 hours and 42 minutes.

Sakkari's take: "I knew from the beginning it was going to be very tough," she told reporters. "You know, a lot of things happened today. Rain delays, obviously, that second set could have been different. But I was thinking of that finish line too much, and then I was just thinking too much on how to close out the match. That didn't really help me. It freaked me out a little bit. I was too nervous.

"But, you know, I'm very proud of myself that I kept my nerves, and then I just fought hard in that third set."

Key stats: Sakkari was better on the key points throughout the match. She converted six of her 12 break-point chances, while Gauff converted just three of her 14 chances.