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.
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.