Swiatek Sweeps Aside Liu, Raducanu Wins; Gauff v Noskova, Sabalenka Sunday
Iga Swiatek returned to dominating form sweep aside 22-year-old American Claire Liu 6-0, 6-1 in her Indian Wells title defense opener.
The world No.1 never faced a break point losing just eight total points on serve against the 56th-ranked Liu.
“I’m happy with the performance,” Swiatek said. “It was a really solid match and I’m happy with how I adjusted to the wind, because when we were practicing, it wasn’t that windy. Tactically and tennis-wise, everything was on point. So I’m pretty happy with my game.”
Swiatek moves on to meet fellow US Open champion Bianca Andreescu who came from a set down to deny American upstart Payton Stearns.
Fourth-seeded Ons Jabeur got the better of Magdalena Frech rallying from a set down 4-6, 6-4, 6-1 in her return from knee surgery.
“It’s a tough decision to come back, and I was the one that insisted that I come back in Indian Wells and Miami,” Jabeur said. “It was probably too early to come back, but I just made it a new challenge for myself.
“I did regret it after the first set,” she joked. “But then, you know, I just told myself to accept what’s happening, to fight through it, and to just see how it goes. I’m sure it will get better and better every match.
“The knee is getting there. Physically I obviously need more time. But when the time is right, I’ll tell you what was going on really. I’m sorry, I cannot talk about it right now. But it is more than that. So it was very challenging for me health-wise. I’m gonna see what’s gonna happen.”
She’ll now face former French finalist Marketa Vondrousova.
Also, the 5th-seeded Caroline Garcia handled Dalma Galfi in a match that went the distance 6-1, 6-7(4-7), 6-4. Former finalist Daria Kasatkina enjoyed an east victory over Germany’s Tatjana Maria 6-2, 6-1. (23y,10r) Australian Open winner Elena Rybakina beat Sofia Kenin in two breakers 7-6(8-6), 7-6(7-5).
Bernarda Pera surprised No. 12 Liudmila Samsonova 2-6, 7-6(10-8), 7-6(8-6). Karolina Muchova upset the 14th-seeded former 2-time tournament winner Victoria Azarenka in straight sets 7-6(7-1), 6-3. Emma Raducanu kocked out No. 20 Magda Linette 7-6(7-3), 6-2. And former champion Paula Badosa ousted Nuria Parrizas Diaz 6-2, 7-5.
The Sunday schedule boasts third round action with No. 2 Aryna Sabalenka taking on Lesia Tsurenko. The two have split two tour-level contests. Sabalenka came out ahead in their most recent contest at 2019 Indian Wells in the third round.
No. 3 Jessica Pegula faces No. 26 Anastasia Potapova, Pegula is a perfect 1-0 against Potapova in their tour-level meetings. Pegula was the victor in their only meeting in the 2021 Us Open first round.
No. 6 Coco Gauff will challenge Linda Noskova in an intriguing teen battle. No. 27 Anhelina Kalinina draws No. 7 Maria Sakkari, No. 11 Veronika Kudermetova faces No. 17 Karolina Pliskova, No. 24 Jelena Ostapenko draws No. 15 Petra Kvitova and No. 16 Barbora Krejcikova clashes with Xinyu Wang.
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