Former No. 1 Victoria Azarenka collected her second double bagel of the young season hammering the overmatched and ailing Magdelena Rybarikova 6-0, 6-0 in the Indian Wells quarterfinals Thursday.
“I think the key today was the start,” Azarenka said. “I really started aggressive, taking opportunities and I felt like I was in full control.
“I think in the second set she wasn’t feeling really well, but it was important for me to stay in the moment and keep dictating. It’s easy to lose focus and pay too much attention to your opponent.”
Azarenka, who dispatched Alison Van Uytvanck by a similar scoreline in Melbourne, won Indian Wells in 2012 when she beat Maria Sharapova. The 13th ranked Azarenka will return to the Top 10 with a title on Sunday.
In the earlier quarterfinal, Karolina Pliskova faced little opposition in 18-year-old Daria Kasatkina crushing the Russian 6-3, 6-2 to advance to her first Indian Wells semifinal. And she also made the doubles final with Julia Goerges.
“[I’m] happy also for the doubles [win], because it’s one of the biggest tournaments in the world, so every result here is important,” said Pliskova. “It’s my first biggest final in the doubles, and especially happy to be there with my partner Julia.”
Pliskova will face former No. 1 Azarenka for a third time. The Czech beat Azarenka last year in a tough 3-setter in Brisbane.
In the first semifinal Friday, it’s a rematch from their Australian Open clash in this same round as Serena Williams continues her bid for a third Indian Wells title against Agnieszka Radwanska.
“I think it was one of my best matches,” Serena said of her 6-0, 6-4 win in Australia. “I played pretty well the whole week. I just remember being aggressive and going forward and keeping my errors down, even though in the second set she made a great effort to come back and try to push for a third set. But I was able to, you know, get back in there and close it out.”
Serena has won all nine meetings with Radwanska losing just one set.
“I just hope I can really play good tennis that I was playing last few days, and that’s it,” said Radwanska. “You know, goal is to win, but it’s not gonna be easy, that’s for sure.”
The women’s semifinals begin at 10am ET with Serena followed by Azarenka.
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