Tuesday, March 15, 2022 - Paula Badosa plays against Leylah Fernandez in the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open)
No. 5 seed Paula Badosa of Spain took another step forward in her title defense at the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday, turning back Canadian teen Leylah Fernandez in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4, to return to the quarterfinals.
“Can we make every week the tournament here?” asked Badosa, who has all but found a second home at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. “I’d vote for it. It’s amazing to be back here. Today was very tough. Leylah is an amazing player, very fast, very good timing. I knew I had to fight and serve very well. I think I did that the entire match. I’m very, very happy to be in the quarterfinals again.”
’15 Titlist Halep Back in the Quarterfinals
Facing countrywoman Sorana Cirstea for the first time in more than a decade, 24th seed Simona Halep of Romania also booked a spot in the quarterfinals, winning 6-1, 6-4 in Stadium 1. It marked Halep’s tour-best 12th straight-sets victory of the season.
“I really enjoy playing here. It’s like home,” said Halep, who after splitting with Darren Cahill is now being coached by Morgan Bourbon. “Today was not an easy match. It’s always tough playing against a Romanian, but I tried to treat this match as a normal match. I think I did that pretty well.”
Halep, the titlist here in 2015, converted five of six break points in the one-hour, 22-minute victory.
Cirstea, the 27th seed, had her chances. She broke for 2-0 in the second set, but couldn’t consolidate.
“Even if I was broken in the second set, I felt like my return is pretty strong,” said Halep. “I was confident until the end of the match, and that’s why I could finish in two sets.”
“I feel a little bit empty right now to be honest,” said Martic. “It’s been awhile since I played on a high level and went deep into a tournament, so, emotionally, I feel a little bit drained at the moment. I just want to try to recover and prepare as good as I can for the quarterfinals.”
No. 3 seed Iga Swiatek of Poland stuck to her modus operandi on Tuesday, winning her third consecutive match after dropping the opening set, this time against 2019 BNP Paribas Open runner-up Angelique Kerber of Germany, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.
Ranked a career-high No. 4, the Doha champion extended her winning streak to eight matches. She moves on to face 25th seed Madison Keys, who defeated qualifier Harriet Dart of Great Britain, 6-1, 6-4. The Pole defeated Keys in their only previous encounter, on clay last year in Rome, 7-5, 6-1 in the third round.