Indian Wells: Aliaksandra Sasnovich reaches pre-QFs; Iga Swiatek's big gesture

Victoria Azarenka, Jessica Pegula, Leylah Fernandez and Elina Svitolina reached 4R

by Abbey Johnson
Indian Wells: Aliaksandra Sasnovich reaches pre-QFs; Iga Swiatek's big gesture

Aliaksandra Sasnovich caused Sunday’s sole upset at Indian Wells. The Belarusian defeated 11th seed and 2015 champion, Simona Halep in their third-round clash. Sasnovich won 7-5, 6-4 in an hour and 38 minutes, backing up her second-round win over US Open titlist, Emma Raducanu in the second round.

The world no. 100 hit 22 winners as compared to Halep’s 16. Sasnovich was broken twice in the course of the match but she also broke four times to ensure a straight-set victory for herself. In the fourth round, Sasnovich will play compatriot, the 27th-seeded Victoria Azarenka.

The former world no. 1, a two-time former champion at the BNP Paribas Open, defeated seventh seed Petra Kvitova in their third-round encounter. Azarenka needed an hour and 49 minutes to complete a 7-5, 6-4 win. Analysing her game, post-win, Azarenka noted, “I think it was a good match.

It was very close, which I knew it was going to be, going to be kind of hard to catch rhythm. It was a lot of firsts, whoever gets the opportunity to kind of move the ball first, be aggressive. I wasn't expecting too many big rallies.

I thought it was good. I'm happy with the way I closed out the both sets. I think those were important moments. I took those opportunities into my own hands”. Meanwhile, for Kvitova, this defeat closed out her 2021 season.

Indian Wells: Iga Swiatek puts on a dominant show

Second seed Iga Swiatek put on another masterclass on the anniversary of her 2020 French Open title run against 25th seed Veronika Kudermetova. The Pole wrapped up a 6-1, 6-0 win over the Russian in 54 minutes.

After her win, Swiatek announced in her post-match press conference that she would donate all her third-round earnings to a charitable organisation engaging in mental health. For a place in the quarter-finals, meanwhile, Swiatek will play 24th seed Jelena Ostapenko.

The Latvian defeated Yulia Putintseva 6-3, 2-6, 6-3 in their round-of-32 clash. Fourth seed Elina Svitolina and 19th seed Jessica Pegula will play each other in the fourth round. Svitolina defeated 32nd seed Sorana Cirstea 4-6, 6-4, 7-6(3) in the third round while the American ousted Jasmine Paolini 6-4, 6-1.

The last round-of-16 battle in the bottom half of the draw at Indian Wells will be played between Shelby Rogers and 23rd seed Leylah Fernandez. The American got past Irina-Camelia Begu 6-0, 6-2. The Canadian outplayed ninth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in the last match of the day to clinch a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 win after two hours and 41 minutes of play.

Aliaksandra Sasnovich Victoria Azarenka Elina Svitolina