Indian Wells quarterfinal match to see: Maria Sakkari vs. Emma Navarro

Quarterfinal day at Indian Wells is a packed schedule, but Sakkari vs. Navarro is the must-see match
\ / Robert Prange/GettyImages

Who would have thought one year ago that the 2024 featured match of the ladies' quarterfinals at Indian Wells is Maria Sakkari vs. Emma Navarro? Sakkari has struggled in recent years, and Navarro is a rising star.

This match has everything tennis fans want including a primetime 9:00 PM EDT timeslot for those wanting to see it live on Tennis Channel. Navarro is coming off the win of her career on Wednesday against World No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka. She is a charming young woman with nerves of steel and a heart of gold, giving a special postmatch shout-out to her 92-year-old grandmother watching from home.

Sakkari's struggles were a headline for most of 2023. She is a talented player that fell flat in the big tournaments last year. Sakkari was defeated in the first round at the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.

A big match for both women

It is hard to say who this match is the most significant for. Maria Sakkari probably has the most on the line. She is a veteran player trying to rebuild her confidence and regain her form under new coach David Witt who previously coached Jessica Pegula and Venus Williams. She is normally stoic on the court but has shown more emotion lately which shows how much it means to her.

Navarro is nowhere near a one-hit-wonder, but tennis pundits will say that she could not sustain her level mentally or physically for two straight matches if she does not beat Sakkari. Navarro is also a stoic personality on the court who lets her racquet do the talking.

The head-to-head record does not give us any clues either. It is 1-1 with both matches played on hard courts. Most recently, they met at the end of February in Dubai with Sakkari winning in straight sets. Last fall, they also faced each other at the San Diego Open, and Navarro won in three sets.

Read more on Lob and Smash