The last 16 takes shape

The final 16 of the BNP Paribas Open is starting to take form, with 4 tantalizing matches all set within the backside half of the draw. All eight fourth-round matches might be performed on Tuesday.

Heading into Monday’s motion, two former Indian Wells champions stay: two-time winner Victoria Azarenka and defending champion Bianca Andreescu. Two former finalists are additionally left – 2018 runner-up Daria Kasatkina and 2019 runner-up Angelique Kerber. They sq. off in a Monday third-round encounter.

Indian Wells: Scores | Attracts | Order of play

Six Grand Slam winners are nonetheless within the draw, together with reigning Roland Garros champion Barbora Krejcikova. Elsewhere, Andreescu and Kerber stay within the high half of the draw, whereas Azarenka, Jelena Ostapenko and Iga Swiatek have all reached the fourth spherical within the backside half.

13 2021 titlists have an opportunity so as to add to their season tally. Within the backside half, Ostapenko, Swiatek, Elina Svitolina and Leylah Fernandez are nonetheless alive; within the high half, Krejcikova, Kerber, Kasatkina, Anett Kontaveit, Ons Jabeur, Danielle Collins, Paula Badosa, Coco Gauff and Tamara Zidansek stay.

[27] Victoria Azarenka (BLR) vs. Aliaksandra Sasnovich (BLR)

Is there a participant who suits the “upset artist” tag higher than Sasnovich proper now? The 27-year-old owns six profession Prime 10 wins, a complete that does not even embody her consecutive straight-sets victories over Slam champions this week – No.17 seed Emma Raducanu adopted by No.11 Simona Halep. When her neat, aggressive recreation is clicking, it is easy to see why she’s a menace.

But Sasnovich has by no means been ranked larger than No.30 (in September 2018) and has spent extra time floating round her present No.100 placement. She is but to win a WTA title, and has reached solely two finals so far (Seoul 2015 and Brisbane 2018). This week marks the primary time she has received three straight WTA principal draw matches since Sydney 2019.

“It is attention-grabbing to play towards the gamers who’re the perfect on this planet,” Sasnovich defined after defeating Raducanu. “I choose to play on the massive area with loads of crowds.”

Highlights: Azarenka d. Kvitova | Sasnovich d. Halep

She’ll get a shot at one other upset towards a Belarusian compatriot subsequent. Azarenka owns the perfect Indian Wells document of anybody left within the subject, having lifted the trophy in 2012 and 2016, and is searching for to construct some late momentum in what’s been a stop-start season. The previous World No.1 has a 25-8 document in 2021, however accidents and sickness have necessitated 5 mid-tournament withdrawals this 12 months and prevented her from posting constant outcomes.

“It isn’t that usually that I get to play anyone from my nation, besides Aryna [Sabalenka],” Azarenka famous after beating Petra Kvitova within the third spherical.

Certainly, this might be a first-time assembly with Sasnovich. Azarenka’s Tour-level document towards her countrywomen is 5-4, with Sabalenka accounting for 3 of these losses.

Head-to-head: 0-0

[19] Jessica Pegula (USA) vs. [4] Elina Svitolina (UKR)

A breakthrough run is one factor; backing it up with consistency is kind of one other. Pegula has carried out each these jobs beautifully in 2021. The American has used a maiden Grand Slam quarterfinal run on the Australian Open as a springboard to a 33-18 WTA principal draw document. This week marks the twelfth time she has received a number of matches in a event, and he or she might be bidding for her seventh quarterfinal spot of 2021.

Indian Wells can also be an occasion which holds significance in Pegula’s profession: it was right here in 2012 that she made her WTA principal draw debut. A wildcard into qualifying ranked No.305, she navigated via the preliminary competitors earlier than falling 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 to Magdalena Rybarikova within the first spherical.

Highlights: Svitolina d. Cirstea

The winner of this match will obtain a big increase within the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals: Pegula is presently in 14th spot, whereas Svitolina is simply forward of her in twelfth place. The prospect of qualifying for the end-of-year showdown is one which has traditionally triggered a Svitolina surge. In 2018, she was the joint-last qualifier to be introduced – after which promptly received it. In 2019, she was the seventh participant confirmed for the eight-woman subject, after which reached the ultimate.

Svitolina may even be boosted by reminiscences of a career-best semifinal run in Indian Wells in her final look in 2019.

Head-to-head: 1-1, each this 12 months. Svitolina defeated Pegula 6-4, 6-3 within the first spherical of Abu Dhabi, the primary event of 2021; a month later, Pegula took revenge 6-4, 3-6, 6-3 within the fourth spherical of the Australian Open.

Shelby Rogers (USA) vs. [23] Leylah Fernandez (CAN)

It wasn’t simply Emma Raducanu for whom Indian Wells was a query of backing up a breakthrough. Fernandez, the US Open finalist, was additionally competing for the primary time since a New York fairytale run.

With extra Tour expertise behind her and fewer eyes on her because the US Open runner-up versus champion, Fernandez’s process hasn’t fairly been comparable. However she has picked up precisely the place she left off: profitable epic three-setters towards higher-ranked opponents below night time lights. Right here, she took two hours and 41 minutes to get previous No.9 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova within the third spherical.

Highlights: Fernandez d. Pavlyuchenkova

For Rogers, there might be a component of déjà vu to the match. It’s the second time inside a month that the American has reached the final 16 of a giant event on residence soil. On the US Open, she adopted up a career-best upset of World No.1 Ashleigh Barty with a straight-sets loss to Raducanu. Right here, her path was eased by the last-minute withdrawal of slated second-round opponent Belinda Bencic, who had been the No.8 seed. Confronted with New York’s different breakthrough teenager, can she reverse that consequence?

Head-to-head: 1-0 to Rogers, who received 6-2, 7-5 within the second spherical of Lexington 2020. Neither participant was ranked contained in the Prime 100 on the time. Rogers would upset Serena Williams within the quarterfinals in her subsequent match.

Champion’s Reel: How Jelena Ostapenko received Eastbourne 2021

2021 Eastbourne

[24] Jelena Ostapenko (LAT) vs. [2] Iga Swiatek (POL)

A conflict of two gamers who lifted their first ever trophy at Roland Garros, having entered the event as an unseeded teenager ranked outdoors the Prime 40? Circle it.

Looking back, whereas Ostapenko has but to win a second main title, she will actually declare to be a trendsetter. In 2017, she grew to become the youngest Grand Slam champion in 11 years along with her phenomenal Parisian run. It was a harbinger of issues to return.

In Ostapenko’s wake, fellow Era 1997 standout Naomi Osaka adopted, profitable her first Slam (and simply second title) on the 2018 US Open. Since then, we have additionally seen Bianca Andreescu conquer the US Open on her debut in 2019; Swiatek demolish the 2020 Roland Garros subject; and, after all, Emma Raducanu turn into the primary qualifier ever to win a serious at this 12 months’s US Open.

Highlights: Ostapenko d. Putintseva | Swiatek d. Kudermetova

Swiatek has settled easily into her place on the high of the sport. Her sophomore season has seen her submit a 35-12 document thus far, together with titles in Adelaide and Rome. She has been near-untouchable this week on her Indian Wells debut, conceding simply 5 video games mixed towards Petra Martic and Veronika Kudermetova.

Against this, the 4 years since Ostapenko’s shock title run have seen the Latvian turn into a byword for unpredictability. But in latest months, there have been quiet indications that Ostapenko may very well be growing some consistency. A title in Eastbourne has been adopted by a closing in Luxembourg. This week, she has dispatched two extraordinarily difficult opponents in Hsieh Su-Wei and Yulia Putintseva.

Might Ostapenko be harnessing her mercurial energy on a constant foundation ultimately?

Head-to-head: 1-0 to Ostapenko, a 6-0, 6-2 rout within the first spherical of Birmingham 2019 on grass.

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