World No. 1 Serena Williams and No. 3 seed Aggie Radwanska lined up a semifinal meeting after the only two quarterfinal matches contested concluded on Wednesday at Indian Wells.
Radwanska held back No. 8 seed Petra Kvitova 6-2, 7-6(3) in the first match, and in the nightcap Williams defeated former world No. 2, defending champion and current No. 5 seed Simona Halep 6-4, 6-3.
Kvitova led 4-2 in the second set, but lost the break and was rolled in the tiebreak.
“I have good experience in the first match, almost losing 5-3 in the third. So I was pretty calm,” Radwanska said of the second set. “Obviously that’s just one break, so you just keep going. And I was a little bit lucky, in the end.”
With the win the Pole will rise to No. 2 on the WTA rankings, overtaking Angie Kerber.
Williams in a high-quality quarterfinal against Halep had seven aces to one for Halep, and won more than 80 percent of first serve points.
Williams has won all nine career meetings against Radwanska.
“She knows how to play in big stadiums and big matches, big games. Obviously she does everything so well, including running, and this is a good surface for her because it’s a slow surface. I think I expect there will be a lot of long rallies. Honestly, I will be ready.
“I really like Aga on and off the court. I think she’s super exciting to watch on the court, and off the court I think she’s really one of the nicest people. Regardless, I think it will be a really good matchup. Whoever wins will go into the final.
“It’s unfortunate it can’t be a final, but we’ll see how it goes. I don’t think she’s won this tournament yet, but obviously she probably wants to. We will see how that goes.”
Quarterfinal matches on Thursday at Indian Wells will feature (18) Karolina Pliskova vs. unseeded Russian 18-year-old Daria Kasatkina, and (13) Victoria Azarenka vs. unseeded Slovak Maggie Rybarikova.
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