Azarenka crushes Ry­barikova to ad­vance

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

Vic­to­ria Azarenka barely broke a sweat as the for­mer world num­ber one routed Slo­vakia's Mag­dalena Ry­barikova 6-0, 6-0 to reach the In­dian Wells semi-fi­nals on Thurs­day.

Two-time Grand Slam win­ner Azarenka is also a for­mer cham­pion in the joint WTA and ATP Tour tour­na­ment, tak­ing the ti­tle in 2012 when she beat Maria Shara­pova. "I started well. I was re­ally ag­gres­sive," said Azarenka, who reached the Aus­tralian Open quar­ter-fi­nals this year. "The start was the key for me."

There have been nine women's draw dou­ble bagels in In­dian Wells' his­tory but Shara­pova was in­volved in the most note­wor­thy when she was slammed 6-0, 6-0 by Lind­say Daven­port in the semi-fi­nals of the 2005 tour­na­ment.

Shara­pova did not take part this year be­cause of a failed drug test and is await­ing a pos­si­ble sus­pen­sion from the WTA Tour. It is the first dou­ble bagel in In­dian Wells since 2014 when Poland's Ag­nieszka Rad­wan­ska ham­mered Annika Beck in the round of 32.

Only two of the top 12 seeds on the women's side of the draw have reached the semi-fi­nals - num­ber one Serena Wil­liams and num­ber three Rad­wan­ska. Twotime win­ner Wil­liams is the only other for­mer In­dian Wells cham­pion still in con­tention.

Ry­barikova had to take an in­jury time out for a right leg prob­lem in the se­cond set and played the re­main­der of the match with the in­jury heav­ily ban­daged. "She wasn't feel­ing re­ally well," Azarenka said of her op­po­nent.

Be­laru­sian Azarenka ad­vances to face 18th-seeded Karolina Pliskova, who beat Azarenka in their most re­cent en­counter last year in Bris­bane, Aus­tralia. Daria Kasatk­ina's sur­pris­ing run at In­dian Wells came to an abrupt halt when she was hum­bled 6-3, 6-2 by Czech Pliskova ear­lier Thurs­day. Pliskova needed a lit­tle over an hour to oust the 18-year-old Rus­sian, the lone teen to reach the quar­ters.

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