Wozniacki, Cilic ousted at Indian Wells

AP
VENUS Williams defeated Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 7-6 (8), 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday as the oldest woman in the draw.
AP

VENUS Williams defeated Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 7-6 (8), 6-4 to reach the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday as the oldest woman in the draw.

The 37-year-old American was coming off a straight-set victory over younger sister Serena a night earlier, ending a three-match skid against her sibling.

“It was a quick turnaround from last night when it feels like, ‘Hey, this is a final to you’re only in the fourth round’,” Williams said on court.

Playing under cloudy skies in the hot California desert, Williams had her hands full with Sevastova, who used drop shots, top spin, lobs and jerked her 10-years-older opponent side to side.

“There were some points where she just played and it was too good,” Williams said. “I thought I was in control of the point and winning the point, and she turned it around. It’s just real talent.”

Awaiting Williams in the quarterfinals is 27th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, who beat American wildcard Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-4.

Simona Halep is on track to retain her No. 1 world ranking after defeating Wang Qiang of China 7-5, 6-1 in the fourth round.

Halep is the only former Indian Wells winner left in the women’s draw after No. 20 Daria Kasatkina upset No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 7-5. Wozniacki blew a 3-0 lead in the first set and was on the run most of the match before losing for the second time this year to the 20-year-old Russian.

“She outsmarted me,” Wozniacki said.

By reaching the quarterfinals, Kasatkina is projected to surpass her career-best ranking of 17th. She has beaten all four current Grand Slam titleholders in the past year, including US Open winner Sloane Stephens in straight sets this week.

Halep improved to 17-1 this year and needs only to reach the final to stay at the top. Next up for Halep is Petra Martic of Croatia, who beat Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 7-6 (4).

On the men’s side, Gael Monfils retired in the second set with a back injury trailing fellow Frenchman Pierre-Hughes Herbert 6-2, 3-1.

Herbert moved on to a fourth-round matchup with Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany, who upset No. 2 seed Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4.

Cilic won 19 of 23 points on his first serve, but failed to convert four break points against 31st-seeded Kohlschreiber, who snapped a 12-match skid against top-10 opponents.

No. 6 Juan Martin del Potro of Argentina defeated No. 29 David Ferrer of Spain 6-4, 7-6 (3) for the fifth straight time.

Top-ranked Roger Federer and del Potro are the highest seeds remaining.


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