A couple of weeks in the past, Jessica Pegula was musing about her busy fall schedule.
The 27-year-old American mentioned her upcoming wedding ceremony, set for later this month, and the remainder of her 2021 schedule. Pegula mentioned she was trying ahead to Indian Wells and added coyly, “Who is aware of, if issues work out, possibly the year-end finals.”
It appeared like a throwaway line however, immediately, it’s truly a chance.
Indian Wells order of play: Not earlier than 3 p.m. PT (Azarenka vs. Pegula) | Not earlier than 6 p.m. (Rogers vs. Ostapenko)
Pegula, the primary participant into the BNP Paribas quarterfinals Tuesday with a complete 6-1, 6-1 victory over a clearly compromised Elina Svitolina, is simply a match win or two from throwing her Buffalo Payments hat into the ring for the WTA finals subsequent month in Guadalajara, Mexico. She entered Indian Wells at No.14 within the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals with 2,286 factors. With a victory over Victoria Azarenka on Wednesday, she would assure herself 390 factors by making the semifinals. A win there could be price at the least 650 factors, with the potential of 1,000 with a title.
With the early departures of No.5 Maria Sakkai, No.6 Garbiñe Muguruza, No.7 Iga Swiatek and No.10 Elise Mertens – there’s a little bit of a gap for Pegula, amongst a number of others.
“Whether or not I used to be getting married or not,” Pegula mentioned, “I made the choice to get right here early, acquired lots of apply days in, to actually get pleasure from it, have enjoyable and never depart the 12 months on a bitter observe of, `I’m drained, I simply wish to go get married.’
“That may have been the straightforward manner out. I needed to problem myself. So, why not take benefit?”
Good recommendation for these quarterfinalists nonetheless in play for Guadalajara.
Listed below are your two Wednesday quarterfinals from the underside half of the draw.
No.19 Jessica Pegula vs. No.27 Victoria Azarenka
Firstly of the event, Azarenka’s 12-player part included No.7 Petra Kvitova, No. 11 Simona Halep and No.17 Emma Raducanu – main champions all.
Aliaksandra Sasnovich did a lot of the heavy lifting, taking good care of the 18-year-old Raducanu, who got here in contemporary off her US Open title, and Halep, whereas Azarenka defeated Kvitova. On Tuesday, Azarenka beat Sasnovich 6-3, 6-4 to lift her round-of-16 report at Indian Wells to a sterling 6-0.
The 32-year-old mom from Belarus is a two-time champion at Indian Wells (2012 and 2016). 5 years later, she’s inspired by her greatest effort in three appearances since. That is Azarenka’s fifth quarterfinal of the 12 months, however that’s leavened by 5 walkovers after a sequence of accidents.
Victoria Azarenka rounds out the underside half quarterfinalists, ending Aliaksandra Sasnovich’s run with a 63 64 win.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) October 13, 2021
It took Pegula a bit of over an hour to beat Svitolina for the second time this 12 months. That consequence underlined her outstanding success this season towards elite gamers. Going again to the Australian Open, Pegula is 7-3 versus Prime 10 gamers, with 4 wins over Karolina Pliskova, two towards Svitolina and one over Naomi Osaka in Rome.
“I positively assume that popping out of COVID, I mentioned, `I’m going to actually work on my health, I wish to be wholesome, I’m going to wish to come out of right here able to go.’
“I acquired to coach in COVID occasions, and I acquired to do what I wanted to do in Florida, the restrictions not being that arduous. I believe that mentality actually kick-started a brand new perception.”
Pegula got here into Indian Wells with one profession win, however has cobbled collectively a powerful run. After a bye, she took out Sloane Stephens within the second spherical and qualifier Jasmine Paolini (in 58 minutes) within the third.
Seven of her 12 profession quarterfinal appearances have come this season.
Head-to-head: 1-1. Pegula received a first-round match this 12 months on the Australian Open, and later Azarenka took a three-set quarterfinal win in a Berlin. In between, Azarenka granted a walkover within the Madrid spherical of 32.
No.24 Jelena Ostapenko vs. Shelby Rogers
Neither of those gamers will likely be missing in confidence.
With the gritty courts at Indian Wells enjoying with a velocity just like the purple clay Of Roland Garros, it’s no surprise Ostapenko, the shock 2017 French Open champion is in glowing type.
On Tuesday, she took down No.2 seed and 2020 Roland Garros winner Iga Swiatek 6-4, 6-3.
“I didn’t give her any possibilities to play, as a result of I believe I used to be enjoying very aggressive and took the time away from her so she couldn’t do a lot towards me,” Ostapenko mentioned afterward. “I used to be considering an excessive amount of earlier than, and now I’m simply making an attempt to benefit from the second and simply strive not to consider something.
“If I play nicely, I’m a harmful participant and I can, I believe, beat anybody.”
In fact, primarily based on current outcomes, the No.44-ranked Rogers feels the identical manner.
Rogers triumphed over No.23 Leylah Fernandez 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4) in a tense match that ran greater than two-and-a-half hours.
“I believe she’s loving the situations right here,” Rogers mentioned of Ostapenko. “She’s doing nicely in singles and took me out in doubles already, so in search of a bit of revenge, I suppose.
“She’s enjoying constant and aggressive and serving nicely, from what I noticed. I’ll should go watch her match once more, as a result of it was happening at an analogous time. Perform a little scouting and get myself prepared and excited for a bit of night time tennis tomorrow.”
After shedding to World No.1 Ashleigh Barty twice in Australia early within the season, Rogers shocked Barty within the third spherical of the US Open – in a third-set tiebreaker. That is the primary Indian Wells quarterfinal for the 28-year-old American.
Ostapenko, nonetheless solely 24, is having fun with her greatest event at Indian Wells. She defeated Hsieh Su-Wei in straight units within the second spherical, however wanted three units to get previous Yulia Putintseva. She’s made two finals this 12 months, successful in Eastbourne and amassing the runner-up trophy in Luxembourg.
“She’s an ideal participant,” Ostapenko mentioned of Rogers, “however attempt to focus extra on myself and play my sport. I believe if I play nicely my sport, then I’m a harmful participant.”
Head-to-head: 2-0, Ostapenko. Each got here on clay (Rome 2017, Charleston 2019).