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Holder Badosa beats Fernandez to reach Indian Wells quarter-finals

Paula Badosa, who is seeking a second straight Indian Wells title, defeated Leylah Fernandez in straight sets on Tuesday. Iga Swiatek, Maria Sakkari, and Simona Halep were other winners on the women’s side.

Paula Badosa at the 2021 BNP Paribas Open WTA 1000 tennis tournament in Indian Wells October 11, 2021, INDIAN WELLS, UNITED STATES: Paula Badosa of Spain in action during the third round at the 2021 BNP Paribas Open WTA 1000 tennis tournament against Cori Gauff of the United States (Credit Image: © Rob Prange/AFP7 via ZUMA Press Wire) || 209505_0056 2021 ATP BNP Indian INDIAN WELLS open Paribas PRESS sport tennis united USA WTA zagency zlast24 zselect ZSPORT ZTENNIS Zuma zwire

The biggest and best moment of Paula Badosa’s career came at the 2021 BNP Paribas Open, where she lifted the trophy.

Badosa is now well on her way to a successful title defence.

The Spaniard picked up her third win of this fortnight when she defeated 2021 US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez 6-4, 6-4 during third-round action on Tuesday night. An impressive performance saw Badosa advance in one hour and 43 minutes, during which she was broken only once — saving five of six break points in the process.

“I think I’m playing every day better and better,” the world No 7 assessed. “I’m feeling my tennis is getting higher, the level. I’m very happy about today and the win.”

It would be hard for Badosa to be any better than she was last year in Indian Wells. En route to her triumph she knocked off Dayana Yastremska, Coco Gauff, Barbora Krejcikova, Angelique Kerber, Ons Jabeur, and Victoria Azarenka. The final against Azarenka — a 7-6(5), 2-6, 7-6(2) thriller — was without question one of the best matches of 2021.

“I never felt I was defending (the title),” Badosa said after getting past compatriot Sara Sorribes Tormo on Monday.” As I said the first day, I won this in October, so I don’t feel it really. I’m not going to lie.

“But every tournament I start with pressure, I start with nerves because I want to do it well — because I’m in a spot right now or in a place right now that maybe I’m playing as a favorite, so people [are] expecting me to be in quarterfinals, semifinals every tournament. Of course you have pressure.

“I don’t really care if I’m defending a title or no. I’m going to have pressure since the beginning.”

It’s safe to say she is handling it incredibly well so far.

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