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Women's Third Round: Swiatek Switches It On, Pushes Past Noskova
2 Min Read · March 10, 2024

Everything was working for Linda Noskova against Iga Swiatek in the first set of Sunday’s third-round tussle at the BNP Paribas Open – until it wasn’t. 

Down an early break, with Noskova threatening to stretch the lead to a double break, top-seeded Swiatek engineered a stunning script flip and raced past the Czech teen, 6-4, 6-0. 


In a rematch of this year’s third round clash at the Australian Open – won by Noskova, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 – Swiatek rebounded from a rugged start and switched on her superpowers as she reeled off ten consecutive games from 4-2 down in the opening set to crack the match wide open and complete her latest mission statement in the California desert. 

Bidding to become the tenth woman to win multiple women’s singles titles at Indian Wells, Swiatek has dropped just seven games through two matches. 

“For sure it was really tense at the beginning,” Swiatek said on court after her triumph. “I was looking for my chances to break back, and I was pretty sure that if I stayed positive and calm the chances would come – I’m happy that I was ready in the proper moments to even the score and then even lead.” 

Facing a player who rallied from a set down to rocket past her just two months ago, the 2022 champion Swiatek displayed premier poise to get the win. 

And she turned it on a dime. 

Laboring under the midday sun on Stadium 1, the 22-year-old Pole held her nerve in a critical seventh game of the first set, survived three break points and four deuces, then skipped away with 12 consecutive points to take matters into her own capable hands. 

After the first set was in the books, Swiatek was in full flight, tracking the baseline like a predator and swooping in to take short balls out of the air, while a silenced Noskova could only look on. Like so many who have fallen at the hands of the four-time Grand Slam champion in recent years, the 19-year-old was merely a stunned spectator as the Iga Express stormed into station and closed out the contest in one hour and 12 minutes.

The World No.1 has now won 14 of 16 main draw matches at Indian Wells. Since her main draw debut in 2021, she has proven to be a lethal force in the often tricky conditions that are in play at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. 

“It was pretty comfortable for me, but for sure any part of the day when you play here is not easy,” Swiatek said, adding: “But it’s a nice challenge. I already learned how to play here so I just have to take care of these adjustments and really be focused.” 

Swiatek improves to 2-1 lifetime against Noskova and will face either Madison Keys or Yulia Putintseva in the Round of 16. 

Kerber, Wozniacki Fairytales Continue 

The comebacks of Caroline Wozniacki and Angelique Kerber are officially in full bloom in Tennis Paradise. 

The pair of former World No.1s, both in the early days of their comeback to the tour after maternity leave, powered through their third-round matches to set a round of 16 matchup between fast friends and former Grand Slam champions.

36-year-old Kerber, a 2019 runner-up in the California desert, completed a 6-4, 7-5 takedown of No.17-seeded Veronika Kudermetova, reaching the round of 16 for the sixth consecutive time and earning her second consecutive Top 20 win, after taking out No.10-ranked Jelena Ostapenko in the second round. 

“I think it was a really intense match,” Kerber said after her win. “We played almost two hours for two sets. It's another important match win for me, for sure, and gives me confidence for the next rounds.”

Kerber saved seven of 11 break points against Kudermetova, and broke serve four times to win in one hour and 48 minutes. The former World No.1 and three-time major champion improves to 26-12 lifetime at Indian Wells, and 4-6 overall since her comeback began. 

Ranked No.607 (playing under a protected ranking of 31), the German becomes the lowest-ranked woman to reach the round of 16 at the BNP Paribas Open since the 96-player format began in 2004. 

Kerber is elated that she has been able to raise her level at Indian Wells, after losing six of her first seven matches of 2024. She talked about her process on Sunday evening, saying that she’s happy to now be playing matches instead of practicing every day without a way to measure her progress. 

“I mean, it takes time. You have to be patient,” she said. “I mean, really, I practiced now for months. I'm done with practice now.” 

Wozniacki was made to work by American wild card Katie Volynets, but emerged with a satisfying 6-2, 4-6, 6-0 win to kick off the night session on Stadium 1. 

“It’s pretty crazy,” Wozniacki told the crowd after her win. “When I started out, I didn’t think I was going to have kids and be back playing. To have that privilege to be out here on this amazing court, in front of all you fans, it’s really, really special to me.” 

Kerber says she’ll be happy to share the court with Wozniacki, as the pair prepare for the 16th career meeting, and first since 2018 (Kerber leads 8-7). 

“I think we are both looking forward to this match and we are both in the same situation,” she said of Wozniacki, who is currently ranked No.204. “We will try to play a good match, having a good battle out there. We are friends now, and we will still be friends after the match.”

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