Thursday, October 6, 2022

Badosa keeps Indian Wells
WTA title defense on track

Spain’s Paula Badosa kept her Indian Wells WTA title defense on track Tuesday, holding off determined Canadian Leylah Fernandez to reach the quarter-finals in the California desert.
Badosa, seeded fifth, saved five of the six break points she faced and kept last year’s US Open runner-up under pressure — converting three of her 12 break chances.
Badosa is vying to become the first woman to win back-to-back Indian Wells titles since Martina Navratilova in 1990-91.
She gained the upper hand in the second set with a break for 3-2, then saved a pair of break points in the eighth game to take a 5-3 lead.
“In the important moments, like 4-3, down the break points, I think I stayed very composed,” added Badosa, who next faces Veronica Kudermetova, a 7-6 (7/5), 6-7 (5/7), 7-5 winner over Marketa Vondrousova.
World number four Iga Swiatek, the highest-ranked player remaining in the women’s field, rallied from a set down for a third straight match to book her quarter-final berth, beating crafty German veteran Angelique Kerber 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Swiatek, the 2020 French Open champion, is coming off a title in Doha last month, but the 20-year-old admitted it took her a while to figure out how to tackle Kerber – another former Grand Slam champion.
She said Kerber showed her a different game than she’d expected after practising with the German.
Swiatek next faces American Madison Keys, who beat British qualifier Harriet Dart 6-1, 6-4.
Former world number one Simona Halep of Romania, seeded 24th, swept into the quarter-finals with a 6-1, 6-4 victory over 26th-seeded compatriot Sorana Cirstea.
Halep, a two-time Grand Slam champion is in the quarters for the fifth time at Indian Wells, where she lifted the trophy in 2015.
Halep will play Petra Martic for a place in the semi-finals. Croatia’s Martic beat Liudmila Samsonova 7-6 (8/6), 6-4.
Sixth-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece advanced with a victory over Australian qualifier Daria Saville, who was trailing 4-1 when she retired with a left thigh injury.
Sakkari will play Elena Rybakina, who beat Viktorija Golubic 7-6 (7/5), 6-2.