Swiatek makes Indian Wells semi-finals after Wozniacki retires injured

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Swiatek makes Indian Wells semi-finals after Wozniacki retires injured

World No 1 Iga Swiatek made it through to the semi-finals at Indian Wells for the third consecutive year after Caroline Wozniacki was forced to retire injured.

Wozniacki, the 2011 champion here, retired with a right toe problem after losing six straight games to Swiatek.

The 33-year-old mother-of-two proved she is still competitive following a three-and-a-half-year hiatus from professional tennis and started well in their highly anticipated clash by taking a 4-1 lead.

That was before Swiatek won what turned out to be the last six games of the match.

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Wozniacki had Hollywood actor Will Ferrell showing his appreciation for this winner during her match against Swiatek…

Treble success for Swiatek

Iga Swiatek has become the fourth player to make three consecutive semi-finals appearances in Indian Wells since the inception of the tournament in 1989 after Lindsay Davenport, Martina Hingis and Maria Sharapova.

“I have a huge respect for her and I’m sad she has to go that way I’m sure she will recover and I hope she will be ready for Miami,” Swiatek said.

“I just wanted to hit the ball clean. I had many chances but with her defence she puts pressure on her opponents. Sometimes I made mistakes but I had to remain patient and calm.”

Swiatek will take on Marta Kostyuk for a place in the final after the Ukrainian won 18 of the last 21 points to claim a 6-0 7-5 win over Anastasia Potapova.

It was Kostyuk’s first win in three career meetings with Potapova.

“I practiced with [Swiatek] in Doha, I was really looking forward to actually playing her in the match,” Kostyuk said, looking ahead to the semis. “I think it will be a great match.

“I don’t know what else to say, because I’m excited, and I played her in Paris three years ago, and it was a bit different match. We were both in different positions. Even more exciting now.”

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Highlights of Marta Kostyuk against Anastasia Potapova in the quarter-finals

Laura Robson on Wozniacki’s comeback from maternity leave

“I feel like she’s had a tricky 2024 and when she came back she thought it would be a bit easier and had that run at the US Open and then took a few months off and didn’t play anything post September until the start of this year,” the former British No 1 told Sky Sports Tennis.

“I think that gap has kind of showed over the first few months of the season.”

Chanda Rubin: It’s been a struggle

“It’s been a bit of a struggle for Caroline coming back from maternity leave. She thought she would get back to this level a little bit quicker.”

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Sinner continues winning streak

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Highlights of Jannik Sinner against Jiri Lehecka in the quarter-finals

Jannik Sinner continued his perfect start to the season by cruising into the men’s semi-finals, dispatching Jiri Lehecka 6-3 6-3 to improve his win-loss record this year to 16-0.

The Italian’s return to the final four in the California desert set up a possible rematch with Spain’s Carlos Alcaraz who ended his title bid at the same stage a year ago.

Alcaraz will continue the defence of his crown later on Thursday when the second seed takes on Germany’s Alexander Zverev.

A windy, cool day did little to slow down the hottest player on the men’s Tour as Sinner was in control throughout, facing a single break chance the entire contest while his opponent piled up unforced errors.

“In the morning, it was really, really windy,” Sinner said in his court-side interview. “The first set was tough to handle.

“He has huge potential so I was really aware of every point that I made and in a way, I am just happy because I make the semi-finals last year and this year I have again a chance to play in the semis in one of the greatest tournaments we have throughout the whole year.”

Lehecka reached his first Masters 1000 quarter-final with upset wins over fifth seed Andrey Rublev and 11th seed Stefanos Tsitsipas but had no answers for the lanky Australian Open champion.

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Sinner hit this thunderous backhand to set-up match point against Lehecka

Tim Henman: Sinner feeling full of confidence

“Sinner is on a role isn’t he? His confidence is so high but the way that he’s able to execute his game plan and just give his opponents so little to get their teeth stuck into.

“He’s serving very well from the back of the court – it’s the the power from both wings. He’s put in some amazing performances. He must be feeling full of confidence.”

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