Indian Wells: Iga Swiatek sets 2023 encore against Elena Rybakina as duo reach SF

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Indian Wells: Iga Swiatek sets 2023 encore against Elena Rybakina as duo reach SF
Indian Wells: Iga Swiatek sets 2023 encore against Elena Rybakina as duo reach SF

Iga Swiatek scored another victory in straight sets to reach the semi-finals at Indian Wells on Thursday. The world no. 1 ousted Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-3 in their quarter-final match-up in an hour and 22 minutes. Both players traded breaks in the first set but once she’d gotten settled, Swiatek raced away against the Romanian.

Swiatek won 71% of her first-serve points and 52% of points on return on Cirstea’s first serve. Swiatek also won nine of her 18 second-serve points and 11 of 20 points on return on Cirstea’s second serve. The Pole faced a break point each across each set but wasn’t able to save either.

She, however, broke Cirstea thrice across the match. Swiatek had 19 winners and 13 unforced errors in the match.

Indian Wells: Will Elena Rybakina best Iga Swiatek again?

Looking to make it to the final for the second year running, Swiatek will play 10th seed Elena Rybakina.

Rybakina needed two hours and 45 minutes to get past Karolina Muchova 7-6(4), 2-6, 6-4. Both players won 76% of their first-serve points. Muchova, however, won slightly fewer second-serve points as compared to the Kazakh – 48% to the latter’s 52%.

Muchova converted three break points on Rybakina’s serve while saving 12 of the 14 break points she faced. Both opponents finished with 106 points for the match. The defending Wimbledon champion will be making a debut in this particular stage at Indian Wells.

Elena Rybakina’s best result at the BNP Paribas Open before this was reaching the quarter-finals in the 2022 edition of the tournament. Meanwhile, Iga Swiatek will be playing the semis in the Californian tournament for the second time in her career, for the second year running.

The top seed is attempting to retain her 2022 Indian Wells title that was part of the 37-match streak she had, right up to Wimbledon. Rybakina and Swiatek will be playing each other for the second time this year. Rybakina had defeated Swiatek in the pre-quarter-finals of the Australian Open, en route to making it to the final.

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