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Badosa battles past Azarenka to land Indian Wells title

Spain’s Paula Badosa thwarted Victoria Azarenka’s hopes of winning a third BNP Paribas Open title at Indian Wells on Sunday, edging a mighty final battle that last over 3 hours in the California desert heat to hoist the trophy herself.

Norrie is Indian Wells champion

Cameron Norrie withstood the heat of the southern Californian sun and the firepower of Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili to become the first Briton to lift the Indian Wells Masters trophy as he continues to march through his breakthrough season.

Hsieh & Mertens bag Indian Wells doubles title

Su-Wei Hsieh & Elise Mertens, the No 2 seeds at the BNP Paribas Open, won the title together after beating Veronika Kudermetova & Elena Rybakina, 7-6(1) 6-3, in Saturday’s final at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

Norrie faces Basilashvili for Masters title

It has been a surprising ten days at Indian Wells for who would have predicted at the start, that Britain’s Cameron Norrie and Georgia’s Nikoloz Basilashvili would be contesting the final of the BNP Paribas Masters this year?

Azarenka shoots for 3rd Indian Wells title against Badosa

Victoria Azarenka won Indian Wells in 2012 and 2016 and will be shooting for her hat-trick in the BNP Paribas Open trophy match on Sunday, when she will meet debutante finalist Paula Badosa, after both came through highly entertaining semi-final clashes against Jelena...

Two shock results as Tsitsipas and Zverev fall

In what must be the most surprising turnup ever in Masters tennis history, both the two hot favourites for the BNP Pribas Open title have been eliminated from the running in consecutive quarter-final matches

Doubles finalists decided at Indian Wells

The final of the BNP Paribas Open will see Hsieh Su-wei & Elise Mertens pitch their skills against Veronika Kudermetova & Elena Rybakina on Friday.

Badosa upsets Kerber to play Jabeur in Indian Wells semi-finals

The BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells title is up for grabs as the last 4 women were determined on Thursday, with the highest seed in contention, Angelique Kerber, upset by Paula Badosa, and Ons Jabeur warding off Anett Kontaveit.

Norrie and Dimitrov fill first two S/F places

In what were two very different quarter-final matches Cameron Norrie and Grigor Dimitrov emerged victors to face each other for a place in the Masters 1000 finals of the BNP Paribas Open being currently held out in the Californian desert heat at Indian Wells.

Obituary: Budge Patty (1924-2021)

John Edward ‘Budge’ Patty, a 1977 International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee who was ranked No 1 in the world in 1950, died on 3 October 2021 at the age of 97.
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Sabalenka cruises but Stephens falls in Strasbourg

With Rome complete, attention turns to the the final warmup event before Roland Garros, which began on Sunday and takes place this week in Strasbourg, France, where Elina Svitolina, Kiki Bertens and Aryna Sabalenka lead the field.

I [knew] I had to play really well, keep my level up. I would say I was delivering this game. But actually it was a lot ups and downs, maybe because of expectations I was playing a little bit too calm [at the beginning]. I tried my best to come back with my ‘fight’ spirit and just fight for every point. It worked really well, and I’m happy that I got this win. Aryna Sabalenka

Bertens was moved from her No 3 seed spot in the draw to the top seed slot following the withdrawal of Karolina Pliskova, the injured finalist in Rome, and with Svitolina, received a bye.

No 4 seed Aryna Sabalenka, however was in action on Monday, overpowering Australian qualifier Ellen Perez in straight sets to reach the second round where she takes on Anna Blinkova from Russia, who dispatched French Lucky Loser Myrtille Georges, 6-1 6-1.

It took Sabalenka just over an hour to move past Perez after taking an early 3-0 lead in both sets.

Perez fought her way back into the match but couldn’t overcome Sabalenka’s firepower, who broke her serve 4 times and won 70% of points behind her own first serves en route to a 6-4 6-3 victory in just 69 minutes.

“I [knew] I had to play really well, keep my level up,” Sabalenka said in her post-match press conference. “I would say I was delivering this game.

“But actually it was a lot ups and downs, maybe because of expectations I was playing a little bit too calm [at the beginning].

“I tried my best to come back with my ‘fight’ spirit and just fight for every point. It worked really well, and I’m happy that I got this win.”

Last year, Sabalenka reached her second career clay court semi-final in Strasbourg, and she looked right at home again here, covering the court with ease and forcing Perez to go for bigger shots which drew out the unforced errors.

Perez, however, stayed patient and got her name on the scoreboard with two holds to love, fighting through serve woes that saw her land 44% of first serves in the first set.

She raised her level, taking advantage of a wobbly Sabalenka to break at 4-3 but the Belarusian continued to apply the scoreboard pressure as Perez trailed on serve, breaking serve once more to close out the set, 6-4.

“I was just trying to keep playing in every point, and keep enjoying just being on the court,” Sabalenka said. “I was trying stay in the rallies as much as I can and try to move her.

“And also just try to be ‘me’ on the court – a little bit more aggressive. That helped me to close it out.”

After the match, Sabalenka confirmed the end of her coaching partnership with Dieter Kindlmann after the US Open.

“I told him that I think I’m not ready for a new person on my team,” she explained. “He’s a great guy, great coach, but I’m just not ready. I’m going to work with my hitting partner for now as my coach.”


Nao Hibino upset No 8 seed Sloane Stephens in the first round of Strasbourg

© Internationaux de Strasbourg

Hibino sees off Stephens

No 8 seed Sloane Stephens was upset on the clay by Japan’s Nao Hibino, who earned her first victory of the tour’s restart with a three-set win over the American, 6-2 3-6 6-1.

The World No 83 took an hour and 45 minutes to see of the former Roland Garros finalist.

“Last week, I lost in qualies in Rome and it was not a good match, so I learned from that,” Hibino said afterwards.

“Of course, Sloane is a good player, especially on clay courts. I prepared mentally and with tactics, so I think it helped a lot today.”

In a match that saw a combined 34 break points for both players, Hibino broke serve 9 times and never trailed in each set she won, breaking serve twice to set the tone and holding on from there.

After the pair split sets, the American was unable to capitalise on a 0-40 lead in the first game of the decider and never again got close to breaking serve from there.

“In the first two sets, I was expecting her mistakes a little bit,” Hibino added. “In the final set, I tried to hit more heavy shots and tried to go for it and win the points.”

Serving 11 double faults of her own in the contest, Stephens saved a match point to deny Hibino a bagel, but the Japanese No 3 ultimately wrapped up victory on her third match point.

Hibino next faces Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas for a spot in the quarter-finals.

Diyas, the World No 73, came through a marathon victory over American qualifier Christina McHale in 3 hours and 8 minutes, rallying from a set and 4-0 down to win, 6-7(4) 7-5 7-6(3).

“She’s a very low-ball hitter, but I’ve played against her a couple of times so I know how she plays,” Hibino said. “Nothing will change, so I’ll just prepare mentally and with tactics like today.”

In other results, Amanda Anisimova, the American No 6 seed, was upset by Switzerland’s Jil Teichmann, the Lexington finalist, 6-2 6-3, while French Wild Card Clara Burel battled past Kateryna Bondarenko from Ukraine, 3-6 6-1 6-4; and Chinese qualifier Shuai Zhang took out Australia’s Ajla Tomljanovic, 3-6 6-4 6-2.


Sloane Stephens managed to win the second set before Nao Hibino ran away with the third

© Internationaux de Strasbourg



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