I was still playing catch-up from Tuesday’s thrilling slate of last 16 matches so there’s a review of the late night match from Stadium 1 between Angelique Kerber and Aryna Sabalenka in this post, as well as recaps the first two quarter-finals from the bottom half of the day which were a mixed bag! Read on for four stories in Wednesday’s Set Points post.
I caught up with the last two sets of Angelique Kerber vs. Aryna Sabalenka, a match-up that was happening for the first time and that I was eager to watch! From a set and a break down, Sabalenka looked to be heading to the victory after finding her game from the abyss to lead *4-1 *30-15 in the decider. Suddenly, Sabalenka lost her way again and Kerber pounced, winning the last three games.
Sabalenka has had a couple of shaky losses now where she hasn’t been able to close out on a winning position. It’s amazing how things can flip as the Belarusian was in completely the opposite position last year where she was the player coming back to win these matches. I think I underestimated the mental impact on Sabalenka of trying to back up and maintain what she achieved last year. In the long run, she’ll be fine but I feel like Sabalenka needs a biggg win to set her on her way.
Quarters in the desert is a great result for Kerber and I think she can go deeper in this draw. I’ve never really felt these conditions suit her game so a very positive week.
Andreescu thrashes Muguruza
In a stunning result, Bianca Andreescu upset the number 20 seed, Garbiñe Muguruza, 6-1 6-0 (!!!!!!) in just 52 minutes to book her place in a first ever Premier Mandatory semi-final. This was pretty much a perfect match from the 18-year-old. Andreescu was aggressive, yet contained, and just simply outplayed Muguruza. I thought Muguruza’s win over Bertens could be a gamechanger. This kind of felt like one step forward and two steps back. Muguruza was flat and error-strewn throughout the first set and then seemed completely lost in the second set as to how to turn the match around and to approach it tactically.
An incredible run for Andreescu and superlatives don’t really do it justice. Via the live rankings, the Canadian player will crack the world’s top 40 and is into the top eight for the Race to Shenzhen! 👏👏👏
Svitolina reaches SFs in Indian Wells for the first time
Elina Svitolina won her third three setter of the tournament to reach the semi-finals of Indian Wells for the first time in her career. Svitolina, who has now spent nine hours and 20 minutes on court, rallied from a set down to beat the highly impressive, Marketa Vondrousova, 4-6 6-4 6-4. Props to Vondrousova for a superb tournament. She has such a strong game – solid off both wings and very creative. I’m a sucker for a lefty forehand and her drop shots are something special.
I just watched back the third set this morning which featured some great rallies. It was encouraging to see both coming forward, especially Svitolina. There didn’t seem to be much in it with Svitolina simply playing a better final two games of the set with Vondrousova offering up some errors.
Halep press conference
I respect Simona Halep’s honesty in her press conference as she revealed she was emotional after her fourth round loss to Marketa Vondrousova.