Misc Tennis

Iga Swiatek dominates at BNP Paribas Open; Carlos Alcaraz advances

Iga Swiatek dominates at BNP Paribas Open; Carlos Alcaraz advances

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Top-ranked Iga Swiatek routed Claire Liu in 65 minutes to win her opening match at the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday.

Swiatek, the defending champion who took over the No. 1 ranking nearly a year ago, won 6-0, 6-1. She lost just seven points in the first set.

“Tactically and tennis-wise, everything was on point,” she said. “I had so many matches that were going my way in last couple of weeks that I know what to do.”

Carlos Alcaraz, the second-ranked men’s player, defeated qualifier Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3, 6-3. Alcaraz reached the semifinals in the desert last year and could return to the No. 1 spot for the first time since January if he wins the title.

Taylor Fritz, the defending men’s champion, rallied past former NCAA singles champion Ben Shelton 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Shelton’s biggest serve reached 147 mph.

“I expected him to come out serving bombs, playing well,” Fritz said. “I was ready for it. I just had to regroup, just find a way and problem-solve. He’s an incredible player and it was an extremely tough first match to come out and play, so I’m happy to get through it.”

Andy Murray beat Radu Albot 6-4, 6-3 in his first straight-set victory of the year to set up a third-round match with Jack Draper. Murray had just 18 unforced errors to 35 for Albot, and he never faced a break point on his serve while firing six aces.

“Hopefully I can keep pushing myself up the rankings, keep building that confidence, and maybe get a few more straightforward draws, as well,” Murray said.

Jannik Sinner defeated Richard Gasquet 6-3, 7-6 (2). The 21-year-old Sinner fired 20 forehand winners against the 36-year-old veteran.

“Obviously, it was a tough match today, especially in the beginning, I was a little bit tight,” Sinner said on court.

Another 21-year-old, Draper, beat No. 24 Dan Evans 6-4, 6-2. Draper has lost just eight games through his first two matches of his Indian Wells debut.

No. 10 Felix Auger-Aliassime reached the third round with a 7-6 (5), 6-4 win over Pedro Martinez.

Emma Raducanu, the 2021 US Open champion, beat No. 20 Magda Linette 7-6 (3), 6-2. Linette, a semifinalist at the Australian Open, got an early service break, but Raducanu jumped on her serve and tied it 5-all before forcing the tiebreaker.

“I was so pleased with the way I fought. Because Magda played at a really high level,” Raducanu said. “Like some things that were working in the past weren’t working today, and I adapted.”

No. 5 Carolina Garcia outlasted Dalma Galfi 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-4….

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