Tennis-Swiatek battles past Andreescu to set up Raducanu clash
(Reuters) -Iga Swiatek overcame former U.S. Open champion Bianca Andreescu 6-3 7-6(1) to reach the fourth round at Indian Wells on Monday and set up a meeting with Emma Raducanu, who scored her biggest win since her own run to the Flushing Meadows title.
Top seed Swiatek has been in superb form on hardcourts since the Australian Open, capturing the Doha title and reaching the final in Dubai, and the Polish player looked set for another comfortable win after cruising through the opening set.
The reigning U.S. Open champion found herself in trouble at 2-4 in the next set but battled back to close out the match in the tiebreak.
"She (Andreescu) changed the rhythm pretty well and with this surface it can get tough," Swiatek said. "But I'm pretty happy I was solid most of the times, at least.
"And that I could be recomposed in the tiebreak because I really knew that I could get my focus up. I'm even glad that I got a chance to kind of play under pressure some more and see how I'm going to cope with it."
Unseeded Raducanu, who has been sidelined by injuries and illnesses that have kept her out of action since the Australian Open, earlier beat 13th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-1 2-6 6-4.
The victory was the Briton's best by ranking since her surprise Flushing Meadows title in 2021 and just the second time since that U.S. Open run she has strung together three consecutive match wins.
It was a disappointing day for Leylah Fernandez, who Raducanu beat in the final two years ago, as the Canadian fell 6-4 6-7 (5) 6-1 to fifth seed Caroline Garcia.
Even though the match required three sets and nearly two-and-a-half hours to determine a winner the fifth seeded Garcia was rarely under pressure from her opponent, who managed just two break chances and could not convert either.
Australian Open winner Aryna Sabalenka will take on Dubai champion Barbora Krejcikova on Tuesday after advancing to the fourth round when her Ukrainian opponent Lesia Tsurenko withdrew due to a panic attack.
Tsurenko said her panic attack was triggered following a conversation with WTA chief executive Steve Simon about tennis's response to Russia's invasion of her country.
FRITZ THROUGH, MURRAY OUT
On the men's side of the draw, defending champion and fourth seed Taylor Fritz steamrolled into the fourth round with a 6-1 6-2 demolition of Sebastian Baez.
Fritz kept the 35th ranked Argentine under constant pressure throughout breaking him six times to set up a round of 16 meeting with Hungary's Marton Fucsovics.
It was the end of the road for Andy Murray, who lost 7-6(6) 6-2 to fellow Briton Jack Draper.
Up next for Draper is Carlos Alcaraz after the top seed beat Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor 7-6(4) 6-3 in the evening to secure his 100th Tour-level victory.
"I'm really proud to get my 100th win and I hope it's the first 100 of many," Alcaraz said.
"Honestly, I searched for that stat today but I didn't know. I thought that it was in the next round."
Evergreen 37-year-old Swiss Stan Wawrinka advanced with an 6-2 6-7(5) 7-5 upset of seventh seeded young gun 19-year-old Holger Rune of Denmark.
While Fernandez headed to the exit there was one Canadian winner on Monday with eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime taming Argentine Francisco Cerundolo 7-5 6-4.
(Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Additional reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar; Editing by Sam Holmes & Shri Navaratnam, Peter Rutherford)