World No 1 Iga Swiatek continued her Indian Wells title defence with a 6-3 6-1 victory over Emma Raducanu on Tuesday to set up a quarter-final against unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea.
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 US 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.
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.”
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