WTA

Swiatek falls short of double-bagel win but progresses at Indian Wells, Azarenka eliminated

By Sports Desk March 11, 2023

Top seed Iga Swiatek spurned the chance for a double-bagel victory over Claire Liu at the Indian Wells Open on Saturday but she still cruised into the third round in 66 minutes.

The 21-year-old Pole, who won last year's Indian Wells, had match point at 6-0 5-0, before Liu rallied back on serve to avoid the ignominy of a double-bagel defeat, with Swiatek eventually winning 6-0 6-1.

Swiatek was in a dominant mood, winning 57 of 83 points for the match and converting five of nine break points generated. She dropped only 11 points in seven service games.

The three-time grand slam champion is 13-3 on the season, with all 13 wins coming in straight sets. In five of those matches, she has dropped just one game.

Former US Open winner Emma Raducanu moved into the third round with a 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 win over 20th seed and 2023 Australian Open semi-finalist Magda Linette.

Raducanu's win meant she has put together back-to-back victories for the first time since September, setting up a clash with 13th-seed Beatriz Haddad Maia after she beat Katerina Siniakova 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 6-3.

Fourth seed Ons Jabeur fought back from a set down to prevail over Magdalena Frech 4-6 6-4 6-1 in one hour and 44 minutes.

Former US Open champion Bianca Andreescu also overcame an early deficit to win 4-6 6-4 6-3 over Peyton Stearns.

Reigning Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina got the edge in a tight two-set clash with 2020 Australian Open winner Sofia Kenin, triumphing 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-5) in two hours and 10 minutes. Rybakina fought back from 4-1 down in the second frame.

Fifth seed Caroline Garcia overcame a wobble to win 6-1 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 over Hungary's Dalma Galfi, with 30th seed Leylah Fernandez her next opponent after beating Emma Navarro 6-2 6-4.

Two-time major winner and three-time US Open finalist Victoria Azarenka was the big casualty from the day's play, losing 7-6 (7-1) 6-3 to 2021 Australian Open semi-finalist Karolina Muchova.

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