Andreescu Pounds Muguruza At Indian Wells; Venus v Kerber Thurs

by Staff | March 14th, 2019, 9:43 am
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Bianca Andreescu continued her breakout season Wednesday at Indian Well pounding former No. 1 Garbine Muguruza 6-0, 6-1 to reach her biggest semifinal of her career.

“I just went out there, went for it. I didn’t focus on who was on the other side,” said Andreescu. “It really helped me, and I used my serve to my advantage. She didn’t serve so well today, so I took advantage of that, as well.”

And she handed a stunned Muguruza one of her worst career losses.

“I felt like every time I was trying something different she was coming up with better shots,” Muguruza said. “She was keeping her high level all the time.”

The 18-year-old Andreescu was largely an unknown at the start of the season, ranked No. 152, but has surged up the standings after already amassing 26 match wins at all levels.

“I just started playing these high-level events a year ago, and I think I’m gaining more and more experience after every match,” Andreescu said. “This year all the wins have definitely given me confidence.”

The big-hitting Canadian will now meet Elina Svitolina Friday in the semifinals.

The Ukraine came from a set down to oust upset-minded teen Marketa Vondrousova 4-6, 6-4, 6-4. The 19-year-old Vondrousova led with a break in the third before Svitolina took four of the last five games to win it.

“The key was today just fighting for every ball and just trying to put one extra ball at the net. It was not a perfect match for me, but I was fighting,” said Svitolina.

“I had to really stay in the match and try to put one extra ball. In the end, this is what brought me and what gave me the chance. I took it in the end to win the match.”

After two tough days of days, Svitolina will look forward to a day off.

“I was just trying to bring everything what I’ve got left in my body. Because I know that tomorrow is a day off, so it’s a good thing. I have some time to recover. For me, it’s important,” added Svitolina.

“The body is feeling, you know, a little bit tired. It’s normal, but in the end, I’m very happy. The physical part that I improved and stayed strong for two tough matches.”

And she’ll also have a day to plan a strategy against the red-hot Andreescu.

“She plays great tennis. I think she moves good, and I have to be ready,” Svitolina said of Andreescu. “We saw, I think, just a little bit of her matches, because she’s just 18 years old.”

Today, the second semifinal will be decided. The streaking Belinda Bencic and former Indian Wells semifinalist Karolina Pliskova meet. Bencic has won her last 11 matches including a big upset win over No. 1 Naomi Osaka in the last round.

In the late afternoon, former No. 1s Venus Williams and Angelique Kerber meet for a ninth time, with both looking to return to the Indian Wells semifinals.

Kerber leads 5-3 but the 38-year-old Venus has a 3-2 edge on hard courts.

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