Elina Svitolina, Leylah Fernandez reach Indian Wells fourth round
Fourth seed Elina Svitolina survived a third-round onslaught from Romanian Sorana Cirstea to win 4-6 6-4 7-6(3) at Indian Wells on Sunday, while Polish second seed Iga Swiatek eased past Veronika Kudermetova 6-1 6-0.
Ukraine’s Svitolina, who won the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, saved 12 of the 16 break point opportunities Cirstea set up in the two-hour-and-32-minute contest, and had to fight back from 4-2 down in the third set to survive.
A year to the day since she won her maiden major title at the French Open, a dominant Swiatek dropped only three of her first serve points and never faced a break, firing off five aces against Russian Kudermetova, who was unable to get a foothold into the match, which lasted 54 minutes.
The 20-year-old told reporters after the match that she planned to donate her third-round prize money to a nonprofit in honor of World Mental Health Day.
“Mental health support, it’s always been like a close topic for me, so I want to, for the first time, do something (in) that direction to help someone, some people,” Swiatek said.
Canada’s Leylah Fernandez showed more of the resolve that helped her finish runner-up to Emma Raducanu in the U.S. Open last month as the 19-year-old rallied from a set down to get past ninth seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 5-7 6-3 6-4.
Victoria Azarenka beat Petra Kvitova 7-5 6-4 in a battle of Grand Slam winners to set up a clash with Aliaksandra Sasnovich.
On the men’s side, third seed Alexander Zverev overcame second set errors to defeat American Jenson Brooksby 6-4 3-6 6-1, launching a dozen aces – including 10 in the third set alone – in his bid for a third Masters 1000 title this year.
World number seven Matteo Berrettini defeated Chilean Alejandro Tabilo 6-4 7-5 in their second-round match.
Berrettini saved both break points he faced and served 11 aces against Tabilo, and the Italian, who lost to world number one Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final earlier this year, let out a roar as he clinched the match.
“Today it wasn’t easy. I struggled the past days with my body, so I knew that I wouldn’t – I told myself to not expect like the best performance, but I’m pretty sure that when the level is going to be higher I’m going to be ready,” he said.
Berrettini’s compatriot, 10th-seeded Jannik Sinner, took down Australian John Millman 6-2 6-2, while France’s Gael Monfils defeated Gianluca Mager 6-4 6-2.
Briton Andy Murray meanwhile fended off a challenge from 18-year-old Carlos Alcaraz of Spain, who last month enjoyed a charmed run to the U.S. Open quarterfinal round.
The 34-year-old three-time Grand Slam winner Murray won two-thirds of his first-serve points and saved eight of 10 break points to win 5-7 6-3 6-2.
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