Former champion Simona Halep kept her title hopes alive in Indian Wells by reaching the quarterfinals after dismissing Romanian countrywoman Sorana Cirstea 6-1, 6-4.
“I really enjoy playing here. It’s like home,” said Halep who fought back from 2-0 down in the second. “Today was not an easy match. It’s always tough playing against a Romanian, but I tried to treat this match as a normal match. I think I did that pretty well.”
Halep, who won the 2015 Indian Wells title over Jelena Jankovic, will now face the lone unseeded player to make the last eight, Petra Martic.
The Croat advanced upsetting her third straight seed in a win over Liudmila Samsonova 7-6(6), 6-4. That quarterfinal is today.
“I feel a little bit empty right now to be honest,” said Martic, a former French quarterifinalist. “It’s been awhile since I played on a high level and went deep into a tournament, so, emotionally, I feel a little bit drained at the moment. I just want to try to recover and prepare as good as I can for the quarterfinals.”
Also today will be Iga Swiatek taking on Madison Keys.
Swiatek, the tournament favorite according to many, came from a set down for her third straight match to defeat former finalist Angelique Kerber 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
“For sure it was really hard playing against her,” Swiatek said. “She’s such an experienced player.
“At the end I think I made the right decisions in the right time, in the right moments of the match. I’m pretty happy about that because in important moments in second and third, I was winning points. That’s the most important thing.”
“Obviously you learn from that first set and you can use that. I think I’m doing that pretty well. But for sure my goal is to win every set. On my next match, I’m going to be ready to win that first one.”
Keys kept her momentum going crushing qualifier Harriet Dart 6-1, 6-4.
In the bottom half on a full day of fourth round play, defending champion Paula Badosa won her 9th straight match at the event dismissing US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-4.
“Today was very tough,” Badosa said. “Leylah is an amazing player, very fast, very good timing. I knew I had to fight and serve very well. I think I did that the entire match. I’m very, very happy to be in the quarterfinals again.”
She sets a date with Veronika Kudermetova who outlasted Marketa Vondrousova in a late-night thriller 7-6(5), 6-7(5), 7-5. The Russian served for the match in the second, but got a double fault from the Czech at 5-6 in the third to win it.
“It was a really crazy match for me,” Kudermetova told the crowd after the 2 hour, 52 minute win. “But before the match I prepared myself. I know Marketa, she is a really good fighter. I prepared that it would be a really tough battle for me.”
Maria Sakkari earned a retirement from Daria Saville who was dealing with a thigh issue at 4-1 in the first. Up next on Thursday will be Elena Rybakina who eased past Victorija Golubic in straight sets.
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