World number one Iga Swiatek knocks out Emma Raducanu
The indomitable Iga Swiatek eased past perennial British hopeful Emma Raducanu in straight sets to reach the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday.
Raducanu, who has battled a wrist injury and illness in recent weeks, showed glimpses of her US Open-winning best form throughout her earlier matches, with victories against 20th seed Magda Linette and 13th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia particular standouts.
The 20-year-old looked impressive again in the early stages against Swiatek, matching the Pole from the baseline as neither player looked close to giving up a break.
However, the turning point came in the sixth game of the opening set. Down 3-2, Raducanu double-faulted at 0-30, giving defending champion Swiatek the space she needed to claim the decisive break.
The world number 77 was simply outmatched from there, ultimately going down 6-3 6-1 in an hour and 24 minutes.
"I always want to finish [points] as fast as possible if I have a chance, but for sure I know that sometimes it's not going to be possible here," said Swiatek, as per wtatennis.com.
"I'm pretty sure that some of these shots would be winners in different conditions, but here the ball is bouncing and it's slower.
"I'm always pretty good in defense. I knew that I can't rush it and I can't be not patient, so I just stayed solid and I wanted to choose the right directions. It was more about that, not the speed and forcing everything to play a winner."
Swiatek will face Romania's Sorana Cirstea in the quarterfinals on Thursday. Meanwhile, Raducanu said Swaitek's physicality is what won her the match.
"Overall I feel like physically she is much further ahead than I am at this moment," said the Brit.
"I think I was able to stay competitive in the beginning of the first set. I think the first three games took over 20 minutes. And we were having some pretty epic rallies, and I actually think my defense got better. But that meant me running. I think that she just kind of ground me down a bit."
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