Iga breaks Bibi in intense contest

WORLD number one Iga Swiatek has come away with the win against 2019 US Open winner Bianca Andreescu in the third round of Indian Wells, but not without a massive fight first. After an easy second round win following a Round of 128 bye, Swiatek had to buckle down against the world number 36, eventually winning 6-3 7-6 in a two-hour epic.

The top seeded Pole entered the WTA1000 tournament coming off a disappointing straight sets loss to Barbora Krejcikova at Dubai, but completely destroyed American Claire Liu in the desert’s second round contest. Meeting Andreescu for the first time, Swiatek was not perfect in the match, but was able to take full advantage of a 24 per cent success rate off Andreescu’s second serve, breaking five times.

The Canadian was able to break four times herself despite Swiatek being more solid with a 62 and 43 per cent success rate off her first and second serve points, forcing the match to a second set tiebreaker. Unfortunately for the underdog, Andreescu was unable to make a breakthrough in the tiebreaker, going down 7-1 in that tiebreaker to bow out 6-3 7-6.

“She changed the rhythm pretty well and with this surface it can get tough,” Swiatek said post-match. “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. 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.

“I feel like the vibe is similar to the US Open, so, yeah, for sure playing under pressure it’s tough.”

The top ranked Pole will take on another US Open winner in the fourth round, after unseeded Emma Raducanu defeated Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia. The Brit has found form of late, knocking of one of Swiatek’s compatriots in Magda Linette in the second round.

Other Round of 16 matches in the top half of the draw include Sorana Cirstea up against fifth seed Caroline Garcia, while Czech Karolina Muchova takes on compatriot Marketa Vondrousova after the latter upset fourth seed Ons Jabeur. Wimbledon Grand Slam champion and Australian Open runner-up Elena Rybakina got past Spaniard Paula Badosa, and will play the winner of the all-Russian match that is currently underway between eighth seed Daria Kasatkina and Varvara Gracheva.

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