Indian Wells: Kerber sets up Bencic date, Thiem progresses
Women's singles world number eight Angelique Kerber beat a resurgent Venus Williams to reach the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells. Kerber will now face an in-form Belinda Bencic of Switzerland, who overcame the challenge of Karolína Plískova. In the men's section, Dominic Thiem progressed after Gael Monfils withdrew with an Achilles injury. Here's more.
Kerber was made to sweat by the veteran Venus in a 7-6, 6-3 duel. The German clinched the tie in one hour and 36 minutes. Venus had come to the court with a heavily taped right knee. "She is just such a great player and an amazing champion. It's always an honour to share the court with her," Kerber said about her opponent.
Swiss starlet Bencic reached the last four at the Indian Wells after a 12-match winning streak that includes the quarter-final win over Karolína Plískova. Bencic pocketed the tie 6-3, 4-6, 6-3. The 23rd-seeded Bencic took the first set with 14 winners and six unforced errors. Pliskova hit back in the second to level the proceedings. Bencic then fought back to take things under control.
Monfils was forced to withdraw through injury and that saw Thiem progress without hitting a ball. This is Thiem's first semi-final appearance in the BNP Paribas Open. The 25-year-old will face Canada's Milos Raonic in the semis on Saturday. Raonic won his tie against Serbian teenager Miomir Kecmanovic 6-3, 6-4. He served 13 aces to reach his second consecutive Indian Wells semi-final.
Legends Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal could be on course for a potential semi-final clash. The two greats play their respective quarters matches later tonight. Federer will battle against 22-year-old Polish player Hubert Hurkacz. His match is scheduled for 11:30 PM IST start. Nadal will face youngster Karen Khachanov of Russia. His match is scheduled for a 2:00 AM IST start.