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Venus Williams, Simona Halep win; Caroline Wozniacki upset at Indian Wells

Venus Williams and Simona Halep are in the quarter-finals of Indian Wells. Caroline Wozniacki was stunned by No. 20 Daria Kasatkina

tennis Updated: Mar 14, 2018 17:12 IST
Associated Press
Associated Press
Associated Press, Indian Wells
Venus Williams,Simona Halep,Caroline Wozniacki
Venus Williams had defeated sister Serena earlier in Indian Wells tennis.(AP)

Venus Williams defeated Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 7-6 (8), 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday as the oldest woman in the draw.

The 37-year-old American was coming off a straight-set victory over younger sister Serena a night earlier, ending a three-match skid against her sibling.

READ | Juan Martin Del Potro beats David Ferrer in ATP Indian Wells tennis; Marin Cilic out

“It was a quick turnaround from last night when it feels like, ‘Hey, this is a final to you’re only in the fourth round,’“ Williams said on court.

Playing under cloudy skies in 80-degree heat, Williams had her hands full with Sevastova, who used drop shots, top spin, lobs and jerked her 10-years-older opponent side to side.

“There were some points where she just played and it was too good,” Williams said. “I thought I was in control of the point and winning the point, and she turned it around. It’s just real talent.”

READ | Yuki Bhambri goes down fighting to Sam Querrey in Indian Wells tennis

After early losses in her first two tournaments of the year, Williams hasn’t dropped a set at Indian Wells, where she has yet to reach the final in six previous appearances.

Awaiting Williams in the quarterfinals is 27th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, who beat American wild card Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-4.

Simona Halep is on track to retain her No. 1 world ranking after defeating Wang Qiang of China 7-5, 6-1 in the fourth round.

Halep is the only former Indian Wells winner left in the women’s draw after No. 20 Daria Kasatkina upset No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 7-5. Wozniacki blew a 3-0 lead in the first set and was on the run most of the match before losing for the second time this year to the 20-year-old Russian.

READ | Caroline Wozniacki beats Aliaksandra Sasnovich, advances in WTA Indian Wells tennis

By reaching the quarterfinals, Kasatkina is projected to surpass her career-best ranking of 17th. She has beaten all four current Grand Slam titleholders in the past year, including U.S. Open winner Sloane Stephens in straight sets this week.

Halep improved to 17-1 this year and needs only to reach the final to stay at the top.

Next up for Halep is Petra Martic of Croatia, who beat Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 7-6 (4).

American teenager Amanda Anisimova’s run of success ended in a 6-1, 7-6 (2) loss to No. 5 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.

Anisimova, a 16-year-old wild card, won her first three WTA Tour matches at Indian Wells, beating Pauline Parmentier, No. 23 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova without dropping a set.

READ | Roger Federer rolls into fourth round at ATP Indian Wells tennis

“She’s 16, so she’s not scared,” Pliskova said of Anisimova. “You can see she’s hitting the ball without thinking. But everybody is playing like this when they are 16. I think this will change a little bit in the future, but for sure the game is good and not really any weakness. I think everything is pretty solid.”

Pliskova faces a quarterfinal against Naomi Osaka, who beat Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-1, 5-7, 6-1.

Halep attended Venus Williams’ straight-set victory over 36-year-old sister and new mother Serena on Monday night.

“I love the way that they are motivated and they are still playing at this age, Serena with the kid,” Halep said. “It’s a great thing what they do for sport, and it’s great that tennis has them. I have many things to learn from them. That’s why I’m trying just to go in to watch every time I can.”

First Published: Mar 14, 2018 10:41 IST