Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 23 May 2019

Indian Wells: Bianca Andreescu blasts past Garbine Muguruza to reach semi-finals

The 18-year-old overwhelms the former world No 1, while Elina Svitolina is made to work hard for her place in the last-four

Bianca Andreescu only allowed Garbine Muguruza one game in their Indian Wells quarter-final clash. AP Photo
Bianca Andreescu only allowed Garbine Muguruza one game in their Indian Wells quarter-final clash. AP Photo

Bianca Andreescu's breakout season continued on Wednesday as the Canadian teenager swept past two-time grand slam champion Garbine Muguruza and into the Indian Wells semi-finals.

Andreescu, 18 and ranked 60th in the world, won the first nine games on the way to a 6-0, 6-1 victory that took just 52 minutes.

She reached her third semi-final of the season after a run to the final in Auckland and the last four in Acapulco.

"I just went out there, went for it," Andreescu said. "I didn't focus on who was on the other side. It really helped me. I used my serve to my advantage. She didn't serve so well today, so I took advantage that as well."

Andreescu, who began 2019 ranked 152nd in the world, is now headed for the top 40.

The win over Muguruza, now ranked 20th, followed a victory over 18th-ranked Wang Qiang of China in the fourth round and took her win-loss record to a remarkable 26-3 in 2019, including qualifying matches.

"I had a good day," Andreescu said. "She didn't have such a good day. I felt she was holding back a lot so I just kept putting pressure. She just kept missing."

Muguruza said the overall quality of Andreescu's game was just too much.

"I struggled to find a way to turn things around, because she was keeping her high level all the time," Muguruza said.

Svitolina battles past Vondrousova

Elina Svitolina needed three sets to defeat Marketa Vondrousova. EPA
Elina Svitolina needed three sets to defeat Marketa Vondrousova. EPA

Andreescu will get a shot at another top-10 player in the semi-finals, after sixth-ranked Elina Svitolina clawed out a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 victory over another red-hot teen - Marketa Vondrousova of Czech Republic.

Vondrousova, who reached her second WTA final in Budapest in February to arrive in California ranked 61st in the world, was coming off an upset of world No 2 Simona Halep in the third round, which followed wins over 2018 finalist Daria Kasatkina and former French Open champion Jelena Ostapenko.

Svitolina, coming off a three-hour and 12 minutes win over Australian Ashleigh Barty - the longest match on the WTA Tour this year - struggled to get to grips with the unfamiliar left-hander's game.

But her experience and determination made the difference in the end.

"Not every day you play your best game, you just have to stay strong and stay calm and fight for every ball," Svitolina said.

The remaining quarter-finals will be played on Thursday, with Belinda Bencic taking on Karolina Pliskova and Venus Williams facing Angelique Kerber in a battle of former world number ones.

Bencic, 22, stunned world No 1 Naomi Osaka 6-3, 6-1 in the fourth round, bringing the Japanese star's first WTA title defense to an abrupt end.

The Swiss player is on the rise after a spate of injuries slowed her career and is ranked 23rd in the world after claiming her first title in four years at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships last month.

Updated: March 14, 2019 09:42 AM

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