Teenagers Raducanu and Gauff exit Indian Wells in third round action
Raducanu served for the match late in the third set but eventually went down to former world No 14 Petra Martic
19-year-old Emma Raducanu and American teen Coco Gauff, who just turned 18 on Sunday, are among the most promising young players on the WTA Tour. But the veterans on the circuit were not ready to let the teens have their way at BNP Paribas Open with both of them going down to experienced pros in third round action.
Raducanu, from Great Britain, was the first among the two to take the court against 31-year-old Petra Martic, a former world No 14. The US Open champion put herself in a winning position as she served for the match at 5-4 in the final set but Martic hung tough, clawing her way back to win 6-7, 6-4, 7-5 in two hours and 46 minutes.
Raducanu, who won her first match at a WTA Tour event only after her stunning US Open breakthrough, is still looking for back-to-back victories in 2022.
As expected, Martic was delighted with her win as she told the BNP Paribas Open website. “This win means a lot to me. I really wanted it so bad. I’m just happy I stayed calm when I was not playing so good, because the match was up and down from both sides. We both had some good periods and bad ones out there. I’m happy I managed to let that go and just focus on the next point.”
Birthday girl Gauff follows Raducanu out of Indian Wells
A few hours later in the evening session, Gauff took to the court against former world No 1 and two-time Grand Slam winner Simona Halep, hoping to give herself a fantastic birthday present. But Halep, seeded 26th this fortnight, had too much consistency for the American teen and won 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 16 minutes.
Halep, a former champion at this event, played a consistent game, hitting 11 winners and 12 unforced errors, as compared to 18 winners and 33 unforced errors for Gauff, who was also unable to convert any of her four break opportunities that she had in the match.
The Romanian, who won the Melborune Summer Series title in January, advances to a fourth round showdown against countrywoman Sorana Cirstea, who scored a 6-7, 6-1,6-0 win over Anna Kalinskaya. Meanwhile, Martic will meet 28th seeded Liudmila Samsonova, who beat Danka Kovinic 6-4, 7-6. The winners of those two fourth round matches will battle it out for a semi-final spot in the Indian Wells draw.
Third seed Iga Swiatek, 15th seed Angelique Kerber, qualifier Harriet Dart and 25th seed Madison Keys also won their matches on Sunday to book their spot in the last 16.