Jaber is a ‘difficult number’ on the tennis court

Jaber is a ‘difficult number’ on the tennis court
Jaber is a ‘difficult number’ on the tennis court

Azarenka for the trilogy

In turn, Padusa, who reached the final in her first appearance in Indian Wells and won her fortieth victory this year, will meet Belarusian Victoria Azarenka, the 32nd seed, who beat Latvia’s 24th Jelena Ostapenko 3-6 6-3 7-5.

“I think I made it to the final, but I don’t know if I was dreaming. I worked hard, and I had depressing moments when I was young,” said Padusa, 23, who is looking for her second career title after winning in Belgrade this year.

“I knew I was going to get here at some point,” said the player, who became the first Spaniard to reach an Indian Wells final since Conchita Martinez in 1992 and 1996. “I took advantage of chances that I didn’t take advantage of. I played better on the big points and that’s why I won.”

On the other hand, the 32-year-old veteran Azarenka had booked the final ticket at the expense of Ostapenko in her quest to become the first player to win three times in Indian Wells after 2012 and 2016.

She continued her confident path in the California desert, towards her first title in 2021 and the 22nd in her career.

“She played really well in the first set, she didn’t give me many chances,” said Azarenka, the 2020 runner-up for Flushing Meadows, after her first victory over her opponent on hard ground.

“I actually tried to create chances, get back into the game and dominate a little bit. I literally fought with every ball,” continued the player, who lost a set for the first time in this tournament.

Fritz and Basilashvili’s surprise

In the men’s competition, which is part of the seventh round of the Masters 1000 points, the Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas and the German Alexander Zverev, ranked second and third, respectively, were eliminated, joining the Russian star Daniil Medvedev.

The Greek lost to Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili 4-6, 6-2, 4-6, and the German Olympic gold medalist in Tokyo was defeated by American Taylor Fritz 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-3).

The Greek, ranked third in the world and runner-up at Roland Garros this season, had suffered both in the previous round, as he needed three sets and two tiebreaks to beat Australian Alex de Minaur.

The Greek’s quest to win only his second title in the 1,000-point Masters tournament, after he won last year in Monte Carlo, ended with his exit at the hands of Basilashvili, ranked 29th in the world, champion of Munich and runner-up in Doha this year.

Despite hitting 10 aces, the Greek made a lot of mistakes in a match that lasted two hours and 10 minutes.

“I’m not surprised,” said the 29-year-old Georgian. “I’ve been playing well for a while, especially in training. I’ve improved my serve lately. That’s why I’m in the semi-finals.”

In the second, Fritz, the 39th in the world, started his match with Zverev, which lasted two hours and 20 minutes, before falling back and saving two balls to decide the match, and then decided the confrontation in a tiebreak.

“It hurts because after losing Stefanos I was the favorite for the title,” Zverev said of his opponent, the 23-year-old, who won his first tournament in 2019 in Eastbourne. “But my level was very far today. I was not in my day, while Fritz deserves to win and reach the semi-finals.”

In turn, said Fritz, the son of San Diego supported by the crowd, “I fought and followed my balls and made a comeback.”

In the second semi-final, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov will meet Britain’s Cameron Nouri.

 
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