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Indian Wells: Maria Sakkari beats Coco Gauff to reach final against Iga Swiatek

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Maria Sakkari beat US Open champion Coco Gauff in a rain-hit match to set up an Indian Wells final against world number one Iga Swiatek.

Greece’s Sakkari let a 5-2 second-set lead slip but regrouped to beat third seed Gauff 6-4 6-7 (5-7) 6-2.

Rain held up play in California in the middle of the first set and again at the start of the second.

Poland’s Swiatek earlier needed just 65 minutes to beat Ukraine’s Marta Kostyuk 6-2 6-1.

Sunday’s final will be a rematch of the 2022 showpiece, which Swiatek won in straight sets.

Swiatek is bidding for her second title of the year after winning the Qatar Open, while Sakkari is aiming for her first.

While Swiatek is yet to drop a set in this year’s tournament, Sakkari had to go the distance against American Gauff, missing three match points in the second set.

Gauff dominated the resulting tie-break and broke in the first game of the third set before Sakkari regrouped.

The ninth seed immediately rescued the break and won four games in a row to take a 4-1 lead.

Gauff served to stay in the match at 5-2 down but, despite saving another match point, was unable to hold off Sakkari.

“I don’t want to disrespect Coco but it would’ve been amazing if this match was over an hour ago,” Sakkari joked afterwards.

“Coco is such an amazing opponent. I’m just so happy I’m in the final once again here.”

In the men’s draw, defending champion Carlos Alcaraz plays Australian Open champion Jannik Sinner in the last four from 19:00 GMT, followed by last year’s runner-up Daniil Medvedev against home hope Tommy Paul in the second semi-final.

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Paris Olympics 2024: ‘Unprecedented’ security operation will be in place, says Games chief

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Paris 2024 chief Tony Estanguet says the Games will protected by an “unprecedented” security operation, and that preparations are “in good shape”.

But with 100 days until the start of the Olympics, he said organisers will “keep some humility, because we know in this kind of event anything can happen in the last stretch”.

Estanguet added he was “very satisfied with where we stand at this moment”.

He told BBC Sport: “My message is you can have confidence with this event.”

Amid mounting concerns over safety, Estanguet said “I would like to reassure that it’s non-negotiable. Security is the priority.”

“It’s the biggest event that France has ever organised, and we want to showcase the best of France. So definitely we are determined to be ready.

“We are looking forward to welcoming the world in Paris.”

“When I discussed this with [London 2012 chief] Seb Coe, he told me…in the last 100 days, there will be more criticism, more people worried. It’s exactly what is happening. My role is to remain calm, remain focused on what is very important to deliver.

“The venues are ready, the budget is balanced. We have very good ticket sales, the level of ambition is very high.”

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Deontay Wilder: Ex-WBC world champion confident of Anthony Joshua fight

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Former WBC world champion Deontay Wilder tells BBC Sport he is “90%” sure a fight with Anthony Joshua will happen in the future, as he prepares to face Zhilei Zhang on 1 June.

READ MORE: Wilder says Joshua fight will be revived with big win over Zhang

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Taulupe Faletau: Wales number eight set for Cardiff return

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Taulupe Faletau back in training with Cardiff
Taulupe Faletau has played 14 games for Cardiff after joining from Bath in 2022

Cardiff and Wales number eight Taulupe Faletau is set to return to action after a six-month injury lay-off.

Faletau, 33, suffered a broken arm in Wales’ World Cup victory against Georgia in Nantes in October 2023 before missing this year’s Six Nations with a calf injury.

The British and Irish Lions Test star has since returned to Cardiff training.

Faletau is available for the United Rugby Championship (URC) trip to face Ulster on Friday night.

Faletau, who has played 104 times for Wales, returns to action with the summer tour to Australia on the horizon.

Head coach Warren Gatland has lost senior figures in Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric, George North, Dan Biggar, Leigh Halfpenny and Rhys Webb to international retirement in the last 12 months.

In Faletau’s absence, Cardiff back-row duo Alex Mann and Mackenzie Martin have been capped by Wales, while Aaron Wainwright has filled the national number eight role.

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