INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Maria Sakkari will not let her 6-4, 6-0 loss to World No.1 Iga Swiatek in the BNP Paribas Open final erase all the good work she did over the past two weeks. On every metric, this was an outstanding tournament for the 28-year-old World No.9, who came in with four losses in five matches. 

Searching for form and confidence, Sakkari tallied five wins, with four coming a three sets. She scored her first Top 5 win since 2022, a three-set victory over No.3 Coco Gauff in the semifinals. It all added up to a fourth WTA 1000 final and second at this tournament that she loves so much in the California desert.

"You never want to lose and leave the tournament as a loser," Sakkari said, "but at the same time, there are so many good things that happened the last two weeks that I cannot just ignore."

"I think I'll get this one one day."

There were moments in the first set of Sunday's final that gave Sakkari hope. After a slow start, Sakkari came from 3-0 down to level the set at 4-4. Swiatek was reeling, spraying balls long and asking her box for answers. 

"I played a very loose returning game," Sakkari said. "I missed three backhand returns. That's not acceptable with players like her."

And then, like a flash, Swiatek ripped off the next eight games to win.

Swiatek eases past Sakkari, wins Indian Wells title for second time

Sakkari won her first three meetings against Swiatek, but those wins came before the 2022 season. Since then, Swiatek hasn't lost a set, leveling the head-to-head 3-3. 

"It requires something extra for me in order to get back on that winning record against her," Sakkari said. "She just doesn't miss as much as she did before, and she's on top of it all the time. You have to be very aggressive. Noskova beat her. Noskova is an ultra-aggressive player. She's not going to grind with Iga.

"Elena [Rybakina] knows she has a big serve, she's going to hit hard. Same with Sabalenka. They are all going to try to be aggressive with her. Nobody is going to stay two meters behind the baseline and grind with her because they have no chance. That's how it is."

Sakkari now turns her eyes on the Miami Open. If Indian Wells has been her happy place, Miami has been sobering. The quick turnaround and stark change in conditions has been a tough puzzle to solve. She has made the semifinals or better in her past three appearances in Indian Wells but is riding a three-match losing streak in Miami. 

"We didn't go into too many details about the match," Sakkari said. "Everyone was trying to make me smile and to make me feel good about what I achieved the last two weeks, especially with where I was coming from.

"You know, that's important. Like, we'll go into details once I get back on the court, but I don't think it's always about forehands and backhands. It's also just to embrace and accept and just enjoy the moment and just have some fun and enjoy. 

"It was a very good week. Obviously I would have loved to see my face down there next year, but it's fine, you know? It's all good."