AP Photo / Marcio Jose Sanchez
Paula Badosa and Rafael Nadal were among the big winners who advanced to the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California, with victories in quarterfinal action on Thursday afternoon.
Badosa defeated Veronika Kudermetova in straight sets 6-3, 6-2, while Nadal defeated Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (0), 5-7, 6-4 in a grueling match that lasted nearly three hours.
Men’s Singles Results
Rafael Nadal def. Nick Kyrgios 7-6 (0), 5-7, 6-4
Women’s Singles Results
Maria Sakkari def. Elena Rybakina 7-5, 6-4
Paula Badosa def. Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 6-2
Thursday’s action kicked off with sixth-seeded Maria Sakkari defeating Elena Rybakina in straight sets 7-5, 6-4 to earn a spot in the semifinals for the third straight event. Entering Indian Wells, she reached the St. Petersburg final and made the semifinals at WTA 1000 Doha. However, she fell to Anett Kontaveit in St. Petersburg and Iga Swiatek in Doha.
Sakkari struggled to open Thursday’s match. Down 4-1 in the first set, the Greek went on to win six of the next seven games for a victory in the opener. In the second set, she saved four break points in her first service game and eventually broke Rybakina for a 2-1 lead, which she never gave up.
The 26-year-old moves on to face fifth-seeded Badosa in the semifinals. Sakkari is in search of her second WTA title after winning in Rabat in 2019.
Badosa also won in straight sets, defeating Kudermetova 6-3, 6-2. She was in control for most of the first set, taking a 3-1 lead before Kudermetova made a push in the final game of the set.
However, Kudermetova was unable to fight back from three unforced errors, allowing Badosa to grab an easy 6-3 win. The second set was much of the same for Badosa, who was in control and took an early 4-1 lead before closing out the set in dominant fashion.
Badosa is looking to become the first woman to win two straight titles at Indian Wells since Martina Navratilova did so in 1990 and 1991. The Spaniard won the BNP Paribas Open last year, defeating Victoria Azarenka 7-6 (5), 2-6, 7-6 (2) in the final.
On the men’s side, Nadal defeated Kyrgios 7-6 (0), 5-7, 6-4 to reach the semifinals.
The first set of the match was a grueling one, as Kyrgios pushed Nadal to the edge, making him fight for every point. The Spaniard roared back from 5-4 down to take a 6-5 lead before Kyrgios fought back to force a tiebreak.
Nadal was dominant in the tiebreak as Kyrgios imploded, winning it 7-0 to take a tough first set that set the tone for the remainder of the match.
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The second set was just as grueling between the two competitors. However, Kyrgios came out on top, preventing Nadal from forcing another tiebreak. The final set was also competitive, but Nadal put together a strong rally against an incredibly frustrated Kyrgios.
Nadal is now 19-0 this season. He became the first man to reach 400 singles wins at ATP Masters 1000 events with his win over Dan Evans in the round of 32 on Monday.