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All faves through in Indian Wells 4th

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TENNIS – All of the favorites left in the women’s draw qualified for the quarter finals at the BNP Parisbas Open in Indian Wells. Giulio Gasparin

 

(6) Simona Halep def (18) Eugenie Bouchard 6-2, 1-6, 6-4
The great streak of results from Halep continued as she edged past a determined Eugenie Bouchard to conquer her first ever Indian Wells quarter-final. The Romanian started really well and forced the young Canadian into the groove of her game, forcing her opponent to hit on the run and miss lots of balls.Bouchard reacted fiercely and forced Halep to step further from the baseline. The match suddenly turned around and Bouchard was in safe control as the 6-1 of the second set proves.

In the third set the Romanian managed to find a better aggression, but Bouchard was strong of the boost from the second set and was the first one to find a break to go 4-3 up.

The reaction of Halep was impressive, as her attitude in the next three games was way different, as she stepped in and found better pace and depth, forcing again the Canadian to miss. Not only she took the break back immediately, but went on conquering the next two as well as the whole match.

In the next round Halep will face Casey Dellacqua, who did non play her 4th round match, as Lauren Davis was forced to withdraw due to food poisoning.

(7) Jelena Jankovic def (10) Caroline Wozniacki 6-3, 6-1
The Serb stepped on court after the lucky escape against Magdalena Rybarykova, but her back injury seemed long gone as she dismantled the -little- resistance of the Dane, who had won all the last 5 matches between the two. Jankovic looked a little nervous at the beginning and fell 3-1 down in the score, but soon reacted and by finding nice pace and smartly varying her game she outplayed Wozniacki with ease. The former world number one, who was defending last year’s final, will now find herself out of the top 15 for the first time since 2008 -when she was 18. The next opponent for Jankovic will be Agnieszka Radwanska.
(2) Agnieszka Radwanska def (22) Alize Cornet 7-5, 6-3
Radwanska survived the scare of two set points in the first set, before finding the right track again and close in straight sets against a very positive Cornet.

The improvements showed by the French woman since the beginning of the season were all there during her match,  but in the end the solid and smart game of the Pole won her the match.

(1) Li Na def Aleksandra Wozniak 6-1, 6-4
Everything was simply working too well for the Chinese, as she played some sensational tennis to overcome the inform Canadian. The only flow one could find in Li Na’s performance is the need of 9 match points before closing, but as she acknowledged in the post match interview, Wozniak did not give up and fought very hard on each of them. In the next round Li Na will try to copy her performance from the Australian Open final, as she is set to face the same opponent: Dominika Cibulkova.

(12) Dominika Cibulkova def (8) Petra Kvitova 6-3, 6-2
After the difficult few weeks following her triumphant run in Australia, Cibulkova is back to playing her highest level of tennis and this time it was Kvitova to fall. The Acapulco winner outplayed Kvitova, who once more proved to struggle on the American hard courts, but that does not diminish the almost perfect performance of the Slovak, who will try to avenge the loss in her first ever slam final.

(20) Flavia Pennetta def Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-1
The run of Maria Sharapova’s slayer fell short, as her more expert compatriot dismantled her hard hitting with smart and accurate shots. Pennetta, who was on the verge of retirement after an early unsuccessful comeback following a wrist injury in 2012, is living a second youth as she is winning match after match her way back to the elites of the sport.

Pennetta, who had lost her only previous encounter with Giorgi, will seek one more revenge in the quarter finals as she is to face Sloane Stephens, who defeated her on the home soil of Rome last year.

(17) Sloane Stephens def Alisa Kleybanova 6-3, 7-5
Stephens fought hard in her fourth round match, as despite closing in straight the match has been uncertain until the very last end.
The comeback from health issues of Kleybanova can still be considered on the right track, despite the loss to the young American. Especially given her good week and the competitiveness of this match.

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Leylah Fernandez Overcomes Pavlyuchenkova To Reach Indian Wells Fourth Round

It was a tough day at the office for the US Open runner-up.

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Leylah Fernandez (Darren Carroll/USTA)

Leylah Fernandez pulled off one of her famous comebacks in the Californian desert beating the number nine seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 41 minutes.

 

The Canadian hit 24 winners in the win while the Russian hit 46 unforced errors in a match that went back and forth before Fernandez was able to pull through in the end.

“What I am most proud of is the way that I fought and honestly today wasn’t my best performance,” Fernandez said afterwards. “But I fought for every point and I was trying to figure things out. I was proud I was able to find a way to get back in the match and get the win”.

After holding serve in her opening service game the world number 28 started putting the pressure right away on the Russian by getting two early break points but failed to convert.

At 3-3, it was Fernandez facing the pressure on her serve and the world number 13 had four looks at a breakpoint. On the fourth the Canadian cracked and double-faulted for the first break of serve of the match.

The Russian lead didn’t last long as the Canadian responded right away in the following game and the next four games went with breaks of serve as both players were struggling to hold serve.

Pavlyuchenkova eventually served for the set at 6-5 and was able to serve it out to take a 7-5 lead.

Pavlyuchenkova carried the momentum into the second set and broke Fernandez’s serve in the first game of the set but at 2-1 got broken once again and the set went back on serve.

It stayed on serve until 4-3 when Fernandez managed to get the crucial break of serve and that was enough for her to serve out the second set.

The first four games of the third set went on serve and at 2-2 again it was the Montreal native earning a breakpoint and breaking once again and despite facing pressure from the Russian was able to serve out the match.

After the match in her on-court interview, Fernandez was asked about all the support she has been getting recently and what it means to her to play on such a big stage.

“I got goosebumps,’ she said. “I was super excited to play here in Indian Wells for the first time and to play in a stadium where so many legends played who fought and won so it’s an honor to be here. I can’t wait to play my next match”.

Fernandez will next face the American Shelby Rogers in the round of 16 on Tuesday after she beat the Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-0, 6-2.

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Bianca Andreescu Begins Indian Wells Title Defense With Rollercoaster win

The Canadian began her title defense from 2019 with a three-set win over her American opponent.

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Reigning Indian Wells champion Bianca Andreescu is into the third round after a epic two-hour and 48 battle with Alison Riske which she eventually won 7-6, 5-7, 6-2.

 

” I’m very happy to be back and I felt all the emotions coming back here to Indian Wells, especially stepping on this court and it honestly feels awesome”. Said Andreescu.

The Toronto native fired 30 winners in a match that went back and forth in the last match on Stadium court.

The first set stayed on serve until 2-2 when it was the Canadian with the first two chances of the match to break and she was able to get the first break of serve in the match but failed to consolidate and Riske broke back the following game.

Andreescu had another chance at 3-3 but was snuffed by the world number 51 and the first set was decided by a tiebreaker. In that breaker, the number 16 seed jumped out to a 4-2 lead which was enough to take the first set.

After holding in her opening service game the Canadian had three chances for an early break in the second set but the American was able to save all three and held serve.

At 2-1, the world number 21 had two more chances and with a return winner on double break point she took a 3-1 lead and this time was able to consolidate the break and hold serve.

At 4-2, the world number 51 attempted a comeback and after earning two breakpoints of her own broke back to put the set back on serve but at 5-4 the Canadian had two match points but the American saved both.

At 5-5, Riske had two more breakpoints and managed to get the crucial break of serve and serve out the second set to send it to a deciding third set.

The number 16 seed was keen on getting the early lead in the third set and she did just that to take a 2-0 lead and at 4-1 managed to turn her break into a double break and served out the match.

After the match in her on-court interview, Andreescu was asked what had happened in the second set and how she was able to respond in the third set.

” She played very well, I honestly had no idea what happened and she picked up her level while I kinda stayed the same,” she said. “Then I had to refocus for the third set and I had to change my tactics a little bit and it helped”.

Andreescu is now lifetime 8-0 in Indian Wells dating back to 2019 when she won and is still the current defending champion. She will take that record into her next match where she will face Anett Kontaveit.

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Aryna Sabalenka Out Of Indian Wells After Positive COVID Test

Sabalenka is the latest player to be ruled out of a tournament after testing positive for the virus.

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Aryna Sabalenka returns a shot during a Women's Doubles quarterfinal match at the 2021 US Open, Tuesday, Sep. 7, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Darren Carroll/USTA)

World No.2 Aryna Sabalenka says she is ‘looking OK’ after confirming she has tested positive for COVID-19.

 

The Belarussian was set to be the top seed at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells which will get underway next week after Ash Barty withdrew from the draw. It is not known as to if Sabalenka is currently experiencing any symptoms at present or when exactly she tested positive for the virus. She hasn’t played on the Tour since reaching the semi-finals of the US Open last month.

Unfortunately I’ve tested positive at Indian Wells and won’t be able to compete,” Sabalenka wrote in an Instagram story.
“I’ve started my isolation and I’ll be staying here until I’m cleared by the doctors and health officials.
“So far I’m looking OK but really sad to not be able to play this year.”

It is unclear if the 23-year-old has received a COVID vaccination after she previously expressed caution over receiving one. During the Miami Open in March Sabalenka told reporters she was concerned about how quickly the vaccine has been produced and the effects it might have on her body.

“So far I don’t really trust it. It’s tough to say, but I don’t really want mine yet, actually, and I don’t want my family have it,” she said. “I will think about this. I mean, if I will have to do it, then of course I have to do it, because our life is a travel life and I think we are the ones who actually should make it. But I will see.”

In recent months tennis’ governing bodies have been urging their players to get vaccinated but some such as Sabalenka are still hesitant. On the other hand, two-time Australian Open champion Victoria Azarenka has previously called for the vaccine to be made mandatory on the Tour.

So far this season Sabalenka has achieved a win-loss record of 42-14 and has reached the semi-finals at her two most recent Grand Slam tournaments (Wimbledon and the US Open). She has won two titles in Abu Dhabi at the start of the season and then Madrid in May. Sabalenka also reached the final of another tournament in Stuttgart.

Replacing Sabalenka as the top seed in Indian Wells will be Karolina Pliskova who is a two-time semi-finalist in the tournament.

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