Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova remain on track for Indian Wells final meeting

 

World number one Victoria Azarenka and Maria Sharapova stayed on track for a mouth-watering showdown in the final of the Indian Wells WTA tournament while defending champion Caroline Wozniacki was beaten by Ana Ivanovic yesterday.

Top-seeded Belarusian Azarenka eased into the last eight with a ruthless 6-3 6-1 demolition of Germany's Julia Goerges before Russia's second seed Sharapova swept past Italian Roberta Vinci 6-2 6-1.

Dane Wozniacki, however, was ousted by 2008 winner Ivanovic, who produced sizzling tennis from the baseline to triumph 6-3 6-2 in the fourth round. The Serb will next meet seventh seed Marion Bartoli of France after she breezed past Czech Lucie Safarova 6-1 6-4.

In dazzling afternoon sunshine, Azarenka broke Goerges three times in each set before sealing victory with an ace to end the match in just over an hour on the showpiece stadium court.

The pony-tailed Belarusian won her first grand slam crown at the Australian Open in January and is 20-0 this year. She will next face fifth seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.

Radwanska, who won her eighth WTA title in Doha last month, advanced when American wild card Jamie Hampton retired with cramp when trailing 6-3 4-6 3-0.

"I take it day by day and after that we will see what happens," Azarenka told reporters of her perfect start to the season. "I have to keep my focus on every moment, every day."

The 22-year-old has launched her 2012 campaign with three WTA titles and said complacency was not in her vocabulary.

"I always try to work on different things because I think there is never really a limit to what you can achieve," Azarenka added. "You can always try to do better. It may not work right away, but at least you can start the process."

PHYSICAL CONDITION

Asked what had been the most improved department of her game this year, she replied: "The thing that really stands out is my physical condition, and I'm pleased with that. But I feel like there is so much more room to improve."

Sharapova had needed five match points to beat Romania's Simona Halep in the previous round but stepped up a few gears against Vinci, breaking her six times before completing victory in just over an hour.

Ivanovic booked her place in the last eight after breaking Wozniacki three times in the opening set and twice in the second, leaping into the air in delight when she clinched victory after one hour 10 minutes.

"I'm very happy," the 24-year-old Serb said after beating the Dane for the first time since the 2008 French Open, which she went on to win.

"I didn't do much wrong today besides the first few games on my serve. I'm really pleased the way I was aggressive."

Radwanska, who reached the quarter-finals for a third time at Indian Wells, applauded Hampton's effort.

"She was playing very good today and I was really in trouble in the second set," the 23-year-old said. "She was really hitting the ball very well and moving very well.

"I just noticed when she fell down. It was obvious that she was cramping and it's always tough when you can't really have a medical timeout for that and you're losing points or games like today.

"When somebody is losing two or three games, it's really a lot. It's tough to come back."

In other matches, eighth seed Li Na of China) crushed Czech Klara Zakopalova 6-1 6-0, Maria Kirilenko beat fellow Russian Nadia Petrova 6-1 5-7 6-2 and Germany's Angelique Kerber edged past American Christina McHale 6-3 3-6 7-6.

Reuters

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss