California [US], March 14 (ANI): World No.1 Iga Swiatek on Monday produced a stunning performance to defeat Bianca Andreescu to move into the Round of 16 of the ongoing Indian Wells.
Swiatek prevailed in breezy and heavy conditions at Court 1 to register a thrilling win over Andreescu 6-3, 7-6 (1). After playing a terrific match, Andreescu couldn't contain Swiatek in the tiebreak, losing seven of eight points.
Swiatek has won a tour-high 14 straight sets matches while being the only player to have yet to play a three-set match this year (minimum 15 matches played). She has also won the most matches (25) in straight sets since the start of 2022, eight more than the next player, Jessica Pegula.
As usual, the crucible of break points revealed the distinction. While Andreescu converted one fewer, Swiatek converted five out of eight. Swiatek is still on course to become the first woman to successfully defend the championship at Indian Wells since Martina Navratilova did so in 1991 with a 2-0 lead over Andreescu.
Eight minutes were needed for the second game, which contained three deuces, but Swiatek had come back.
Swiatek broke Andreescu once more with a forceful backhand winner down the line following another drawn-out game (four deuces) in which she took a 3-2 lead. Let's say 4-2. When Andreescu's ball struck the net chord and rebounded, she served it out.
In the second set, Swiatek came out strong, breaking Andreescu in the opening game, but while serving a 2-1, he experienced an unexpected lack of focus. The set was returned on serve due to a wayward forehand. Andreescu scored a fantastic forehand stretch volley winner when Swiatek looked like she may break back, raising the audience to their feet and causing Andreescu to pump her fist.
In order to gain a 4-2 advantage, the Canadian broke Swiatek, but Swiatek soon forced the set back on serve. By winning 5-4, she broke Andreescu -- at love. Predictably, Andreescu broke again to tie the score at 5 all, and the one-sided tiebreak began.
The 21-year-old Swiatek now meets 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu, 20, in a Wednesday night matchup.
"She changed the rhythm pretty well and with this surface it can get tough. But I'm pretty happy I was solid most of the times, at least. And that I could be recomposed in the tiebreaker because I really knew that I could get my focus up," WTA.com quoted Swiatek as saying in her on-court interview.
"It was a really tight match, and I'm really happy that I actually played such a tight match, because now I see how I can handle those situations after couple of matches that were kind of one way. I think we both played well. I'm happy that in those important moments, I was the one that was more solid," she added.
"I know that my game was definitely going to level up to hers. I knew she was going to play well but I didn't know she was going to play that well, but that's what you have to expect from the World No.1. She literally does not miss. You could hit any shot in the world and she literally will not list. She'll find a way to get to it, she'll put it where she exactly wants it," Andreescu said afterwards. (ANI)