Sunday, March 13, 2023 - Paula Badosa plays against Elena Rybakina during the 3rd round of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Kathryn Riley/BNP Paribas Open)
Indian Wells third round action continues Monday in the California desert as top-half seeds battle for coveted Round of 16 spots at the BNP Paribas Open. Scroll down for the rundown on all the WTA singles action from across the grounds…
The California dream is becoming reality for 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu. The 20-year-old notched her biggest win since her dream week in Flushing Meadows, nudging past hard-serving southpaw Beatriz Haddad Maia, 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 in front a switched-on crowd in Stadium 3.
The tenacious Brit took control of a final set that lasted over an hour, breaking Haddad Maia for 4-3 and holding serve the rest away to secure three consecutive wins on tour for just the second time since she had her breakthrough moment at the 2021 US Open.
Raducanu converted her fourth match point to secure the victory in two hours and 20 minutes, as thunderous applause broke out around the stadium.
The win against 13th-ranked Haddad Maia is Raducanu’s best win by ranking since taking out 18th-ranked Maria Sakkari in the 2021 US Open semifinals.
2019 BNP Paribas Open champion Bianca Andreescu came out firing against defending champion Iga Swiatek to kick off the Stadium 1 night session. The Canadian brought the energy – and the shotmaking – early and often on Monday night, but ultimately couldn’t crack the code of the World No.1.
Swiatek battled through the stiff breeze and a fired-up Andreescu to notch her eighth consecutive victory in the California desert, 6-3, 7-6(1).
“I’m glad that I the chance to play under pressure a little bit more, and see how I am going to cope with that,” Swiatek told the crowd.
Swiatek, who improves to 14-3 on the season, will face Emma Raducanu in a heavily anticipated fourth-round clash on Monday.
“I’m pretty sure I’ll be ready tactically – my coach is good at tactics so I’m just going to trust him,” Swiatek said of the upcoming challenge. “I’m pretty sure that I got into the rhythm already so hopefully I’m going to play better better with every match.”
Caroline Garcia‘s #FlyWithCaro hashtag was in full effect on Monday afternoon on Stadium 1, as the fifth-seeded Frenchwoman overcame a stunning middle set from Canada’s Leylah Fernandez and pushed through to win in a decider, 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-1. Garcia’s win puts her in the Round of 16 at Indian Wells for the fourth time.
After Fernandez, the No.30 seed, cracked a jaw-dropping crosscourt winner to convert her second set point in the middle-set tiebreak, it would have been easy for the French No.1 to hang her head.
But that was not the case.
Garcia hit the turbo boosters and flew past the 20-year-old, firing seven aces and winning 14 of 15 first-serve points to steer clear of any further challenges from the former US Open finalist.
“The beginning of the third set was really important,” Garcia said on court after her 17th victory of the 2023 season. “I was a little bit on the edge, losing the second set in a tiebreak. I tried to really stay at a good intensity and fighting, and I think that’s what I did better in the third set. I fought better and put more pressure, and I’m very happy with the win.”
Garcia will face Romania’s Sorana Cirstea in the Round of 16. 83rd-ranked Cirstea eased past American Bernarda Pera 6-3, 6-1 to reach the round of 16 in the California desert for the second consecutive year.