Indian Wells: Iga Swiatek starts title defence with victory over Claire Liu

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CALIFORNIA: Defending champion Iga Swiatek’s Indian Wells Open campaign began on Saturday with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over American Claire Liu.

The top seed and world No. 1 won the first 11 games of the match inside Stadium 1 before easing to victory in just over an hour, the fifth time this season she’s dropped just one game in winning a match.

The first set was the sixth 6-0 set that Swiatek has won so far this season. Swiatek won without encountering a break point. Actually, in seven service games, she only dropped 11 points. The Polish star also forced 26 errors from the American’s racquet. Liu only hit nine unforced errors in the match.

In the 26-minute opening period, Liu only scored seven points. She reached 30 on Swiatek’s serve to start the match, then was broken at 40-15 in the second game, giving her five of those games in the opening two games.

“Coming back after such a great result last year is something else. I wanted to get my level of energy up a little bit, because it’s the hardest thing to do when everything goes your way. For sure, Claire used that moment when I didn’t play as aggressive that I should be, but I’m pretty happy that I was able to close it pretty fast,” quoted Swiatek as saying on-court in victory.

Elsewhere, Emma Raducanu scored an impressive 7-6 (3), 6-2 victory over No.20 seed and recent Australian Open semifinalist Magda Linette in the Indian Wells Open second-round match.

“This tournament I had so little practice in the last few weeks, that really playing the matches has been a bonus and a win. I’m enjoying competing again. I think this feeling of competition definitely beats being sick or injured or out. So I’m really just cherishing every time I get to step out on the match court,” Radacanu said.

“Because of the amount of the setbacks I have had and the amount of time I have spent off the court in the past 18 months, I think you definitely appreciate it more when you’re able to be on the court. Obviously I had a couple in a row, so I’m just really pleased to be out on the court,” she added. (ANI)

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