Emma Raducanu’s Indian Wells revival comes to a crashing end after she suffers a straight sets defeat to dominant World No 1 and defending champion Iga Swiatek
- Emma Raducanu’s resurgence at Indian Wells came to an end in the last-16
- The Brit suffered a straight sets loss to World No 1 Iga Swiatek (6-3 6-1)
- Swiatek is looking to become the first female since 1991 to defend the title
Emma Raducanu crashed out at Indian Wells, as World No 1 Iga Swiatek continued her title defence with a 6-3 6-1 victory on Tuesday.
Swiatek came under pressure early in the opening set but some clean ballstriking helped her hold for a 3-2 lead after two tight service games. She raised her level further to break Raducanu in the next game before pulling away.
Having wrapped up the first set when Raducanu sent a shot long from the baseline, Swiatek grabbed an early break in the second to heap the pressure on the Briton, whose unforced errors began to mount.
Swiatek, bidding to become only the second female player to successfully defend the Indian Wells title after Martina Navratilova in 1990-91, raced to a 5-1 lead playing flawless tennis and running her opponent ragged.
The U.S. Open champion closed out the win when Raducanu struck the net on serve in a tame end to her fine run in the Southern California desert.
Emma Raducanu’s Indian Wells run came to a crashing end to World No 1 Iga Swiatek
Swiatek’s victory was secured when Raducanu struck the net on serve in a tame end to her fine run in the Southern California desert
Swiatek has now set up a quarter final clash against unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea.
Raducanu, who has overcome a wrist injury and illness, failed to build on her victory over Beatriz Haddad Maia – a win which ranks as her best since her 2021 US Open triumph. s
Earlier in the day, Coco Gauff rallied from a break down in the final set to beat Swede Rebecca Peterson 6-3 1-6 6-4 and reach the quarters for the first time.
After taking the first set, the sixth-seeded American began to struggle with her forehand in the second and an opportunistic Peterson applied the pressure by coming into the net.
But after suffering an early break in the decider, Gauff stepped up her defense, fending off three break points at 4-4 and breaking Peterson for a fourth time on match point to book her spot in the last eight.
Gauff, who turned 19 on Monday, was later serenaded with a rendition of ‘Happy Birthday’ by the crowd.
‘Today, it was just a mental thing, staying in the match,’ Gauff said. I wasn’t playing my best in some moments and wasn’t serving as well as I’d like to, but I think my mentality kept me in today.’
Swiatek is looking to become the first female since Martina Navratilova to defend the title
Raducanu was coming off her best triumph since winning the US Open title two years ago
Next up for Gauff is a meeting with Belarusian second seed Aryna Sabalenka, who survived a second-set scare to beat 16th seed Barbora Krejcikova 6-3 2-6 6-4.
Sabalenka sent down 11 aces in the match to secure victory and get revenge on the Czech, who beat her at last month’s Dubai Tennis Championships.
Elsewhere, seventh seed Maria Sakkari outlasted big-serving Czech Karolina Pliskova 6-4 5-7 6-3 in a two-hour and 45-minute match to reach the quarters.
Sakkari will next face Czech 15th seed Petra Kvitova for a semi-final spot, after the two-times Wimbledon champion saved four match points en route to a 6-2 3-6 7-6(11) win over third-seeded American Jessica Pegula.
‘I play for these emotions,’ Kvitova said. The match was up and down, a disaster at times. I knew Jessica will not miss, but I still had to go for it. I think this might be one of the best matches I played …’
Cirstea bagged her first top-five win since 2017 in Beijing as the 32-year-old battled past fifth seed Caroline Garcia 6-4 4-6 7-5.
Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina beat Varvara Gracheva 6-3 6-0 and will next take on Karolina Muchova, who overcame Marketa Vondrousova 6-4 6-7(2) 6-4.