Swiatek, Rybakina reach semifinals at Indian Wells Tiafoe, Medvedev reach Indian Wells semifinals; Gauff out Rafael Nadal aiming to make comeback from injury at Monte Carlo

INDIAN WELLS, California. No. 1 Iga Swiatek beat Sorana Kirstya 6-2, 6-3 to advance to the BNP Paribas Open semi-finals on Thursday.

Swiatek, the reigning champion, took a 4-0 lead in the second set and converted her second match point by closing it out.

“I’m glad I played so intensely that I was able to start both sets well,” Swiatek said. “I feel like I’m doing pretty well with everything and just playing my game.”

Next behind Swiatek is 10th seed Elena Rybakina, who outplayed Karolina Muchova 7-6 (4), 2-6, 6-4. It will be a rematch from the Australian Open in January, when Rybakina won 6-4, 6-4 in the quarterfinals.

Yannick Sinner beat defending champion Taylor Fritz 6-4, 4-6, 6-4 to become the first Italian to reach the semi-finals of the 47-year-old tournament.

Sinner, who finished 11th, advanced to the semi-finals of the Masters 1000 for the second time. He will face top seed Carlos Alcaraz, who beat No. 8 Felix Auger-Aliassime 6-4, 6-4. Alcaraz must win the title in order to regain world number one.

Sinner had 32 winners to Fritz’s 25; both had 17 unforced errors.

Sinner hit 80% of his first innings and won 15 of 18 points off the net.

Fritz said that Sinner handled the wind better on the leg.

“I would say that the two games I lost in the third, I just didn’t feel like I could do much on points,” Fritz said. “I had to just hope he missed, just because of how strong the wind was in my face.”

Sinner said he interfered during Fritz’s serve in the middle of the match and tried to take the ball early to throw off the American’s rhythm.

“I moved a little, especially on the deuce side,” he said. “But only on the first serve, because I felt like I had no chance of seeing the ball being tossed or where it was serving. So I tried, at least if the ball is there, to catch it as soon as possible to give it less time.”

Rybakina became the first woman from Kazakhstan to qualify for the Indian Wells semi-finals.

She lost her first set of the tournament in the second but won in the third. The 2022 Wimbledon champion scored 15 of 16 on the first serve and never hit a break point in a set.

“In the third, I served much better,” said Rybakina on the court. “I didn’t start very well at the beginning of the match, I was a little slower than usual and the conditions here are not so easy for me. After all, I played well in the important moments.”

Rybakina and Swiatek play against each other 1:1 in their careers.

“In Australia, I just know that when I went to play against her, I really had nothing to lose. She is number one, and at that moment there is some pressure on her, ”said Rybakina.

INDIAN WELLS, California. Frances Tiafoe defeated 10th-placed Cameron Norrie 6-4, 6-4 to advance to the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open.

The No. 14 American snapped the 2021 champion’s eight-match winning streak to earn his first half-trip at the Masters 1000 tournament.

“Very happy today,” Tiafoe said on the court. “I played very well all week. Let’s continue”.

Tiafoe scored 22 winners and only made nine unforced errors. He punctuated the victory, which was briefly interrupted by rain, by serving a love game.

“I played very fast, very close to the baseline and put a lot of pressure on him,” Tiafoe said. “I didn’t let him increase the points and I moved my feet very actively, I was very aggressive.”

Tiafoe went undefeated in four matches in the tournament. Then he will play with Daniil Medvedev at number 5, who beat Alejandro Davidovich Fokin with a score of 6:3, 7:5.

Medvedev won his 18th match in a row and improved his record to 23-2 this year. A day earlier, he injured his right ankle in a three-set win over Alexander Zverev.

“When I warmed up, it hurt a lot,” Medvedev said. “But I knew I would play.”

But his troubles were not over. He fell to the court and opened a cut on his thumb in the sixth game of the second set. The cut was bandaged during a medical timeout.

Medvedev beat Davidovich Fokina in love to go up 6-5 before handing over the win. Medvedev won 12 of the last 14 points.

In women, second racket Arina Sobolenko won the last seven games of the match, beating sixth-placed Coco Gauff in the quarterfinals with a score of 6:4, 6:0. Sobolenko improved her record to 16-1 this year, including her run to the Australian Open title.

Sabolenko said it took her four days to recover from winning her first Major.

“It was like right after the title we went back to the hotel and my whole team was drunk,” she said, laughing. “I don’t know how many liters they drink that day. It was the funniest and most memorable moment. Everyone was so stressed during those weeks that I think it was okay to have a few drinks. I didn’t drink.”

Gauff earned only nine return points and had no break points against Sobolenko.

“She didn’t give me any free points and I think I also gave away free points and didn’t hit the ball as deep as I needed to,” Gauff said. “Especially when you play with her, you have to get the ball deep.”

MONACO. Rafael Nadal is set to return from a hip injury on the Monte Carlo Masters clay court next month, organizers said.

The 22-time Grand Slam champion pulled out with a left hip flexor injury after the Australian Open and dropped out of hard court tournaments in Indian Wells and Miami.

The Monte Carlo Masters will start on April 8 and tournament director David Massey is hopeful that Nadal will play.

“Rafa was the first (player) to be registered,” Massey said in a statement. “He really wants to play in the Monte Carlo Masters tournament and gives himself every chance to take part in the tournament that he loves so much.”

Nadal has won the tournament a record 11 times, including an Open Era record streak of eight consecutive titles from 2005 to 2012.

The 36-year-old Spaniard is using the event as a key part of his preparation for the French Open, which runs from May 28 to June 11.

Nadal has won 14 of his major titles on clay at Roland Garros, including last year while battling chronic pain in his left leg.

In January, Nadal injured his hip flexor during a second-round loss to Mackenzie McDonald of the United States at the Australian Open.

The next day, an MRI showed the extent of the injury.


Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker