Azarenka storms into Indian Wells semis
Former World No.1 Victoria Azarenka is through to her fourth semi-final at the WTA Tour 1000 event in Indian Wells following a straight-sets win over the 19th-seeded Jessica Pegula.
Azarenka, who won the tournament in 2012 and 2016, sent down 21 winners to her American opponent's 18 unforced errors to emerge a 6-4 6-2 victor in 94 minutes.
The Belarusian will now contest her third semi of 2021 having also reached that stage this year at Doha and Berlin.
"I thought it was a really good match ... very high quality from both players," Azarenka said in her post-match press conference.
"I felt that I really played well in the crucial moments. I felt like I stepped up a lot to the occasion. That's what I'm really happy with today."
The 27th seed will next face Jelena Ostapenko after the Latvian battled back from the brink of defeat against unseeded Shelby Rogers of the US.
The 2017 French Open champion had a furious start as she won five of the first six games in just 22 minutes before she found her second serve under pressure in the second set.
Both players missed opportunities in the final set, with Ostapenko closing it out by winning the final four games and the match 6-4 4-6 6-3.
"It's really great because especially after I couldn't play US Open, I was really sad about it because I was in such a great form before," Ostapenko said.
"I think it's another great opportunity because it's a big tournament. I just enjoy it. It's the last couple of tournaments this season. I'm just going to try to enjoy it as much as possible."
Estonia's Anett Kontaveit will face Ons Jabeur of Tunisia and Spain's Paula Badosa takes on German Angelique Kerber in Thursday's remaining quarter-finals.
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