INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – Top-seeded Iga Swiatek defeated Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-3 on Thursday to advance to the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open.
Swiatek, the defending champion, took a 4-0 lead in the second set, converting her second match point to finish.
“I’m glad I played so intensely that I was able to start both sets well,” said Swiatek. “I feel like I’m handling things pretty well and just playing my game.”
Next up for Swiatek is No. 10 seed Elena Rybakina, who outlasted Karolina Muchova 7-6 (4) 2-6 6-4. It will be a repeat of the Australian Open in January when Rybakina won 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals.
Jannik Sinner beat defending champion Taylor Fritz 6: 4, 4: 6, 6: 4 and was the first Italian to reach the semi-finals of the 47-year tournament.
Sinner, the 11th seed, advanced to the semifinals for the second time at a Masters 1000. He meets top seed Carlos Alcaraz, who defeated No. 8 Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-4. Alcaraz needs to win the title to regain the world No. 1 ranking.
Sinner had 32 winners to 25 for Fritz; both had 17 unforced errors.
Sinner hit 80% of his first serves and won 15 of 18 points at net.
Fritz said Sinner managed the windy conditions on the track better.
“I would say in the two games where I broke in the third, I just didn’t feel like I could do much in the points,” said Fritz. “I just had to hope he missed just because the wind was blowing in my face so hard.”
Sinner said he went in mid-game against Fritz’s serve and tried to take the ball earlier to disrupt the American’s rhythm.
“I got in a bit, especially on the twos side,” he said. “But only on the first serve because I felt like I didn’t get a chance to see the ball toss or where it hits. So at least when the ball is there I tried to catch it as quickly as possible to give it less time.”
Rybakina became the first woman from Kazakhstan to secure a spot in the semifinals at Indian Wells.
She lost her first set of the tournament in the second but turned it up in the third. The 2022 Wimbledon winner won 15 out of 16 first-serve points and never faced a break point in the set.
“I served much better in the third,” Rybakina said on the court. “I didn’t start that well at the beginning of the match, I was a bit slower than usual and the conditions here aren’t that easy for me. In the end I played well in the important moments.”
Rybakina and Swiatek face each other 1-1 in their careers.
“In Australia, I just know I really had nothing to lose by playing them. She’s number one and she’s kind of putting pressure on her at this moment,” Rybakina said.
Swiatek and Rybakina reach the semifinals in Indian Wells originally appeared on NBCSports.com
Source : sports.yahoo.com