Indian Wells Daily Preview: Roland Garros Champions Swiatek and Halep Meet in the Semifinals - UBITENNIS
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Indian Wells Daily Preview: Roland Garros Champions Swiatek and Halep Meet in the Semifinals



Simona Halep on Wednesday at Indian Wells (

It’s the 2018 French Open champion against the 2020 champion.  Simona Halep and Iga Swiatek are both off to strong starts in 2022, and they share an interesting head-to-head, which includes two lopsided meetings at the Parisian Major.  On Friday, they meet for the fourth time.

The other WTA singles semifinal features two of the top six seeds, as defending champion Paula Badosa faces Maria Sakkari, who is into her second consecutive WTA 1000 semifinal.

Also on Friday, the last two ATP singles quarterfinals will be decided.  Andrey Rublev is on a 12-match win streak, but standing in his way is Grigor Dimitrov, who was a semifinalist here back in October.  And American Taylor Fritz, who has won back-to-back matches in third-set tiebreaks, takes on Miomir Kecmanovic, who upset Matteo Berrettini in the last round. 

Each day, this preview will analyze the two most intriguing matchups, while highlighting other notable matches on the schedule.  Friday’s play gets underway at 12:00pm local time.

Andrey Rublev (7) vs. Grigor Dimitrov (33) – 12:00pm on Stadium 1

Rublev has not only won his last 12 matches, he’s won 10 straight sets, dating back to his title run in Dubai.  Meanwhile, between his last semifinal in Indian Wells and this one, Dimitrov went a modest 6-6.  But he’s performed well this fortnight, winning all six sets played, including against two seeds (Bublik, Isner).  Andrey and Grigor are 2-2 lifetime, with all four matches taking place on hard courts.  Though it’s worth noting they haven’t played since 2019, and Rublev has taken his game to another level since that time.  While Dimitrov has only advanced this far at a Masters 1000 event four times over the past three years, Rublev did so four times last season alone.  Andrey has developed into a formidable force on hard courts, and he’s the favorite to prevail on Friday.  

Iga Swiatek (3) vs. Simona Halep (24) – Not Before 6:00pm on Stadium 1

Their first two meetings, in back-to-back years at Roland Garros, were anything but competitive,  In 2019, Halep was victorious 6-1, 6-0 in a match which lasted only 45 minutes.  A year later, Swiatek avenged that loss 6-1, 6-2 on her way to her maiden Major title.   The rubber match took place at last year’s Australian Open, with Halep winning 6-4 in the third.  Simona has rather quietly, yet efficiently, advanced to this semifinal.  She’s won her last three sets by dropping only one game in each.  On Wednesday, she required only 53 minutes to overcome Petra Martic.  Swiatek was forced to come back from a set down in her first three matches this fortnight, but almost identically to Halep’s quarterfinal performance, Iga dominated Madison Keys in just 56 minutes.  The key on Friday may be Halep’s superior consistency, as this slower surface should be able to enable her defense to draw errors out of her more aggressive opponent.  I favor Simona to return to the final for the first time since she won this event in 2015.

Other Notable Matches on Friday:

Taylor Fritz (20) vs. Miomir Kecmanovic  – Like Dimitrov, Fritz is vying for second consecutive semifinal at this event.  This is Kecmanovic’s second quarterfinal in three appearances, easily making this his best Masters 1000 tournament to date.  Both their previous meetings occurred on American hard courts (once at Challenger level), with Fritz taking both.

Paula Badosa (5) vs. Maria Sakkari (6) – Badosa has now claimed 10 straight matches in the desert, while Sakkari has won 10 of her last 12 overall.  Their only previous meeting was in the round robin stage of November’s WTA Finals in Guadalajara, where Paula prevailed in straight sets. 

Friday’s full Order of Play is here.


Casper Ruud Overcomes ‘Tough Start’ To Set De Minaur Final In Acapulco

Casper Ruud is into his first ATP 500 final after defeating Holger Rune in three sets.



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Casper Ruud is into his second consecutive final in Mexico after defeating Holger Rune 3-6 6-3 6-4 in Acapulco.

The Norwegian had to overcome an electric start from Rune to prevail in 2 hours and 24 minutes.

It was a clinical performance from Ruud who is now into his second consecutive final in Mexico after reaching the final in Los Cabos last week.

Speaking after the match Ruud admitted it was a tough start but he’s pleased to be in another final, “It was a tough start,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“Holger just came out firing bullets from the forehand, from the backhand and I had not too much time to play my game. I was frustrated at times, especially at the end of the first set, beginning of the second.

“I didn’t really feel like I got to play any points how I wanted to, so there was some frustration towards myself, towards my box, because I didn’t feel like we were doing the right thing.

“But luckily with one break in the second, it turned around a bit and in the third set it got a little physical. I think maybe Holger seemed like he was struggling a little bit and started firing even more and a couple of games it went in and he broke me, which is frustrating.

“Some unforced errors crept up on him and I served really well in the last game to close it out.”

Ruud is now into his first ATP 500 final in Acapulco where he will face defending champion Alex De Minaur.

De Minaur overcame Jack Draper after the Brit retired at 4-0 down in the deciding set.

Heading into Saturday’s final, De Minaur leads the head-to-head 1-0 although that was in a completely different scoring format in the Next Gen Finals.

Whatever happens on Saturday, Ruud will return to the world’s top ten.

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Andrey Rublev Disqualified In Dramatic Dubai Semi-Final

Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final in Dubai.



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Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik after being accused of swearing in Russian.

The event took place in Dubai where Rublev had more than enough opportunities to win the match having been 4-2 40-0 up in the deciding set.

However Bublik came back into the match as he caught up with Rublev in what was turning into a fascinating contest.

The score was at 6-5 Bublik when Rublev’s frustrations boiled over when he allegedly told the official at the side of the court that he was a ‘f****** moron’ in Russian.

One of the officials on the sidelines at the side of the court reported the incident and the supervisor ruled that Rublev should be defaulted.

The incident below means that Rublev will now lose all his ranking points and prize money, resulting in Rublev exiting the world’s top five.

An ending that didn’t warrant the dramatic contest and after the match Bublik agreed that the consequences, “I highly doubt Andrey said something crazy,” Bublik was quoted by Sports Illustrated.

“He’s not this kind of guy. But I guess that’s the rules. That’s what they did, they just follow the procedure.”

Bublik will hope for a smoother finish to the final when he takes on Ugo Humbert for the title.

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Andy Murray Makes Retirement Hint After 500th Hard Court Win In Dubai

Andy Murray won his 500th hard court match in Dubai, placing him fifth on the all-time list.



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Andy Murray further hinted at retirement after securing a 500th hard court win of his career in Dubai.

The former world number one picked up his second win of the year with a 4-6 7-6(5) 6-3 victory over Denis Shapovalov.

In typical Andy Murray fashion, the Brit came back from a set down to defeat the out-of-sorts Canadian as he progressed to the second round.

The win means Murray now has 500 career wins on a hard court and that is an achievement the world number 67 is proud of, “It’s not bad,” Murray told the ATP website as he sits fifth on the all-time list of hard court wins.

“Obviously hard court has been a great surface for me over the years and 500 is a lot of matches so I’m very proud of that. There are not many players that have done that, so great to get to 500 before I’m done.”

However those post-match comments weren’t the most shocking ones as Murray once again hinted at retirement this season.

The Brit has made subtle remarks that this year may be his last one but Murray’s comments today suggests that he may have already made his decision, “I probably don’t have too long left but I’ll do as best as I can these last few months,” Murray was quoted by ESPN as saying.

“I still love competing and still love the game but it gets harder and harder to compete the older you get, to keep your body fit and fresh.”

If the end is near for Murray than the Brit will look to end his career on a high for the next few months.

Before thinking about retirement Murray will look to go further in Dubai when he takes on either Ugo Humbert or Gael Monfils in the second round.

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