Iga Swiatek solves Bianca Andreescu puzzle to book Emma Raducanu match – ‘I was solid most of the time’

Shahida Jacobs
Delight for Iga Swiatek

Iga Swiatek got the better of one former US Open champion in Bianca Andreescu in the third round of the Indian Wells Open and up next she will take on another former Flushing Meadows champion in Emma Raducanu.

The reigning champion US Open and Indian Wells champion found herself behind in both sets, but recovered to secure a 6-3, 7-6 (7-1) win breezy conditions in California.

Afterwards the world No 1 admitted that she Andreescu’s ability to mix things up made her life difficult.

“She changed the rhythm pretty well and with this surface it can get tough,” she said during her on-court interview. “But I’m pretty happy I was solid most of the time, at least. And that I could be recomposed in the tie-breaker because I really knew that I could get my focus up.”

She later added: “I think the thing that she’s doing differently than other players is the way she changes the rhythm with those pretty annoying high balls (smiling). Yeah, I think that’s the hardest thing, I would say.

“It seems like you can be aggressive playing against her, but on the other hand, she’s really good at defense and she’s playing the slices that are tricky sometimes. You have to be ready for that.”

Andreescu broke in the opening game of the match, but her advantage didn’t last long as Swiatek hit back immediately and a second break in game six set up the win.

After breaking in the opening game of the second set, Swiatek looked set to get over the line in quickly but the Canadian was not done yet as she reeled off four consecutive games – including two breaks – to build a 4-2 lead.

However, Swiatek then broke twice as she won the next three games to lead 5-4 only for Andreescu to break again draw level at 5-5 and take it to a tie-breaker. It was one-way traffic in the tie-breaker as the world No 1 booked her place in the last 16.

The top seed will face Raducanu for a place in the quarter-final after the 2021 US Open winner defeated 13th seed Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-1, 2-6, 6-4.

The pair met in Stuttgart last year and Swiatek won 6-4, 6-4.

“I think after Stuttgart, I just know how her shots feel on the racket, because before I haven’t even practiced with her,” the Pole said.

“So it helps that way, but on the other hand, it’s great because we are playing on hard court, and there was clay, but actually this surface is slower.

“I think I have to, like, really take care of the tactics anyway, and we’ll see. Honestly, like every day is different. Stuttgart match was like almost a year ago. So long time ago.”

READ MORE: Iga Swiatek’s 2023 tennis schedule: Where is she competing next and her season so far…