Entering the second-round duel, Raducanu was overcoming a 10-game winning streak since her historic US Open title, where she won 20 straight sets in qualifying and the main draw to become the first British woman to win a Major since Virginia Wade in 1977. In contrast, Sasnovich, who reached a career-high No.30 in 2018, has only earned one Top 50 victory in a game that ended this season.
Yet despite her below-par 2021 season, the Belarusian has proven herself as a seed danger in the opening laps of big events. The 27-year-old had already racked up 15 Top 20 wins in her career, including wins over Petra Kvitova at Wimbledon 2018, Elina Svitolina in Brisbane 2018 and Karolina Pliskova in Tokyo 2016.
“I saw a few games of her when she played at the US Open and at Wimbledon as well,” Sasnovich said. “She’s a really talented girl. She has a powerful forehand and backhand. She always tries to be aggressive. “
“It was a very good game for me. I play very well. I know she just won the US Open. I lost there in the first round. So a little different. But I tried to go to the court, I tried to take advantage. I did everything correctly and of course I’m happy with the result. “
Raducanu started the game where she left off in New York City, coldly winning the first six points with clean first-strike tennis. With both players looking to play offensive tennis, Sasnovich weathered the early wave and began to find consistent depth off the baseline. The Belarusian broke first to open a 3-1 lead and again broke Raducanu’s serve for a 5-2 lead, closing the first set after 30 minutes.
Both players totaled 8 winners each in the first set, but Sasnovich was much cleaner, making only 4 unforced errors from 12. She was also the most opportunistic, converting her two break point chances without ever giving the Briton a look to break it. serve once.
Sasnovich broke after an extended second-set opener, piercing his fourth breaking point of the game to take the immediate advantage. But Raducanu sank in and refused to let Sasnovich run away with the match. The Briton got her first break point of the match in the following match and immediately reached level 1-1.
Raducanu continued to pressure Sasnovich’s serve from there. Sasnovich managed to save three break points to keep him at 2-2, but Raducanu broke again, this time 0-40, to lead 4-2.
Turning point: Raducanu’s advance will be short-lived. After struggling to lead 4-2 in the second set, Raducanu played a poor game to fall quickly 0-40. She did well to find two big first serves to close the gap to 30-40, but managed a regulatory setback to return her hard-earned break advantage.
Sasnovich seized the moment and picked up the momentum from there, smashing Raducanu for the fifth time at 5-4, then serving the game for a straight-set victory after 1 hour and 25 minutes.
Match status: Sasnovich kept the pressure on Raducanu’s serve through the night taking advantage of the Briton’s second serve. While the two were fairly comparable in their success rates against first serve, Sasnovich won 76.2% of his second serve return points, while Raducanu won 57.1%. His ability to put pressure on Raducanu’s serve earned him 11 break points for the game, while Raducanu generated 5.
Sasnovich finished the game as the cleanest player on the floor. She returned 17 winners with just 19 unforced errors, while Raducanu hit 15 winners with 31 unforced errors.
Petra Kvitova’s victory prepares the clash with Victoria Azarenka
No.7 seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic advanced to the third round of the BNP Paribas Open for the seventh time in her career with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands.
In the first meeting between the two left-handed veterans, Kvitova weathered a hotly contested patch early in the second set to secure a complete victory in one hour and 16 minutes.
Kvitova took an initial 4-0 lead and won the first set in half an hour, but world No.68 Rus resumed her game early in the second set. The Dutchwoman forced Kvitova into a six-game tie at 1-0, then saved four break points to maintain a 2-1 lead.
Kvitova, however, used her thunderous forehand return to secure a critical 3-2 break, and the Czech took the win from there, winning the last five games of the game.
Kvitova will next face No.27 seed Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in an intriguing clash between the two-time Grand Slam champions. Kvitova leads the head-to-head 5-3.
Leylah Fernandez wins Indian Wells debut
Making her main draw debut, US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez defeated Alizé Cornet 6-2, 6-3 to advance to the third round, where she will face No.9 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.
No.23 seeded, Fernandez played tennis relentlessly to win the game’s first five games before Cornet fell back two games. Showing no signs of rust, Fernandez returned 24 winners with 16 unforced errors in his first game from New York.
“It gives me a lot of confidence because Alizé is a very tough opponent,” said Fernandez. “I watched her play on tour. She fights for every point. I trained with her too. We had some tough training matches. I knew today was going to be difficult.
“I’m just happy I was able to take the win. It gives me confidence to move forward. “
Jessica Pegula stops Sloane Stephens to maintain WTA Finals bid
No.19 seed Jessica Pegula arrived in Indian Wells at No.14 in the Porsche Race to the WTA Finals and if the American can replicate her success in 2021 at the WTA 1000 level during the fortnight, she could be find themselves in a qualifying position for the Akron WTA Guadalajara Final. Facing compatriot Sloane Stephens in his opener, Pegula dominated behind his serve to win 6-2, 6-3.
Pegula won 88% of his first serves and 79% of his second serves to keep Stephens’ dangerous return game at bay. Pegula did not face a break point in the game. Pegula was then asked to describe her state of mind as she enters the home stretch of the season. She joked that she was barely holding on.
“I’m sticking my fucking nails with super glue right now, that’s where I’m honestly at,” Pegula said. “I just spilled stuff on my jersey. This is where I am. Last tournament of the year, apart from the Billie Jean King Cup, I’m starting to lose it.
i’m just trying to be honest
– Jessie Pegula (@JLPegula) October 9, 2021
“No, I had a little break, but between the US Open and Chicago, I had to recover a bit. I played a few good games there. Lost against Ons, who played very well. Lost against her in three sets. I arrived here feeling quite confident. I’m getting married on the 22nd. Honestly, I just really want to compete well and go day to day. Really don’t give in, just fight, really hard it’s out there. ”