Indian Wells 2022: Paula Badosa cruises past Veronika Kudermetova into semis

Badosa became the first player since Karolina Pliskova in 2016 and 2017 to reach back-to-back semifinals at Indian Wells.

Paula Badosa celebrates her win in the quarter final of the 2022 Indian Wells. (Image: Twitter)

Defending champion Paula Badosa advanced to the semifinals of the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday, defeating No.21 seed Veronika Kudermetova 6-3, 6-2 in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals on Friday, Badosa will face No. 6 Maria Sakkari.

With her victory over Kudermetova, the 24-year-old Spaniard becomes the first player since Karolina Pliskova in 2016 and 2017 to reach back-to-back semifinals in Indian Wells. Badosa is two wins away from becoming the first player in over 30 years to defend her title at Indian Wells, having done so in 1990 and 1991 with Martina Navratilova.

The World No. 7 also extended her undefeated streak in Indian Wells to 10-0, joining Martina Navratilova as the only women to win at Indian Wells in at least 10 matches. Badosa joins Navratilova, Stefanie Graf, Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters, Serena Williams, and Ana Ivanovic as the seventh player in tournament history to win 10 or more consecutive main draw matches.

Before Badosa earned the first break of the match to make it 3-1, both players had a strong start to the match. Badosa stayed steady from the baseline and took advantage of the hot conditions with her heavy forehand. Kudermetova looked in complete control as she landed her forehand deep and moved to the corners.

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Kudermetova came close to regaining the break in the final game of the first set, rallying from a 40-0 deficit to earn her only break point of the match. However, Kudermetova made three unforced errors, and Badosa won the first set 6-3.

‘Key was to serve well’

“I think a little bit the key was to serve well, as well, to attack her second serve,” Badosa said. “I’ve played her three times, and I always was doing the same mistakes. I didn’t want to do it for a fourth time in a row. I wanted to dominate with my forehand. Maybe not to let her a lot to open me the court. At the beginning maybe I was hitting a little bit more harder in the middle and then when I have my opportunity to move her. When she was moving me, try to put always one ball more was important as well.”

Badosa got right back to work in the second set after an off-court medical timeout for Kudermetova during the set break. She broke Kudermetova in her first service game and earned an insurance break at 4-1 in the match’s longest game, a four-deuce game that Badosa finally won when she converted on her third break-point opportunity. Badosa won with a roar after 1 hour and 23 minutes to maintain her dominance in the California desert.

Sportslumo Desk

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