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Azarenka on fire in the desert, awaits Ostapenko in Indian Wells semis

Victoria Azarenka advanced to the Indian Wells semi-finals with her fourth consecutive straight-set win of the fortnight, getting the best of Jessica Pegula. Next up for Azarenka is Jelena Ostapenko.

WTA 2021 BNP Paribas Open | Draw | Order of Play

No 27 seed Victoria Azarenka was the first player to punch her ticket to the 2021 BNP Paribas Open semi-finals when she cruised past Jessica Pegula 6-4, 6-2 on Wednesday evening. Azarenka advanced after one hour and 34 minutes.

Both women were in outstanding form heading into this fourth-round contest. Azarenka had not dropped a set through three rounds and her run included a victory over Petra Kvitova. It has been nothing but straight-set affairs for Pegula, as well.

Something had to give in this one, and that turned out to be Pegula’s resistance. The 19th-seeded American had no answer for a red-hot Azarenka, who struck more winners (21) than errors (18) despite the slow conditions, won 81 percent of her first-serve points, and broke her opponent five times.

“I thought it was a really good match,” Azarenka assessed. “Very high quality from both players. Very consistent in terms of level for me. I felt that I really played well in the crucial moments. I felt like I stepped up a lot to the occasion. That’s what I’m really happy with today.”

Ostapenko outlasts Rogers

In Friday’s semi-finals, the Belarusian will go up against Jelena Ostapenko. In Wednesday’s WTA nightcap, Ostapenko won the last five games of the match to recover from 3-1 down in the third set and beat Shelby Rogers 6-4, 4-6, 6-3. The Latvian prevailed after two hours and 15 minutes, during which there were an incredible 15 service breaks.

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