California [US], March 15 (ANI): World No.1 Iga Swiatek moved one step closer to a successful title defence at the Indian Wells Open after defeating 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu 6-3, 6-1 in the fourth round on Tuesday.
Swiatek will face Romania's Sorana Cirstea in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Raducanu gave a strong performance. She did well to keep up with Swiatek early on, defending bravely from the corners and matching the No. 1 player in the world from the baseline. However, Swiatek's best opportunity to break came when Raducanu double-failed while serving with a 3-2, 0-30 deficit, and the best returner in the match seized the moment. Swiatek broke open the match to lead 5-2 after scoring 9 straight points, and the set was concluded two games later.
Swiatek dominated the second set after taking the first one. After one hour and 24 minutes, Swiatek finished the match with a clear strategy of maintaining composure and wearing down Raducanu with methodical, extended rallies.
Swiatek finished with 22 winners and 14 unforced errors while converting 4 of 10 break points. Raducanu was held to 9 winners to 22 unforced errors, going 0 for 2 on break points.
"Overall I feel like physically she is much further ahead than I am at this moment. I think I was able to stay competitive in the beginning of the first set. I think the first three games took over 20 minutes. And we were having some pretty epic rallies, and I actually think my defence got better. But that meant me running. I think that she just kind of ground me down a bit," WTA.com quoted Raducanu as saying.
"I always want to finish [points] as fast as possible if I have a chance, but for sure I know that sometimes it's not going to be possible here. I'm pretty sure that some of these shots would be winners in different conditions, but here the ball is bouncing and it's slower," Swiatek said.
"I'm always pretty good in defence. I knew that I can't rush it and I can't be not patient, so I just stayed solid and I wanted to choose the right direction. It was more about that, not the speed and forcing everything to play a winner," she added. (ANI)