INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) — World No. 1 Iga Swiatek crushed Claire Liu in just 65 minutes on Saturday to win her first Indian Wells Open duel.
The Polish champion, defending champion who topped the standings almost a year ago, won 6-0, 6-1. He only lost seven points in the first quarter.
“Concerning the tactics and strategy of tennis, everything was perfect,” he said. “I had so many games coming my way over the past two weeks that I knew what to do.”
Carlos Alcaraz, the tournament’s top seed, beat Australia’s Thanasi Kokkinakis 6-3, 6-3.
The Spaniard, second in the standings, reached the semi-finals in the Californian desert last year. He could return to the place of honor in the standings, which he lost in January, if he is crowned here.
Defending men’s champion Taylor Fritz came from behind to beat Ben Shelton 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. Shelton’s most powerful serve hit 147 mph.
“I expected him to hit the ball and play well,” Fritz said. “I was ready for that. I just had to regroup, find a way and work it out. He’s an amazing player. It was an extremely tough first game, so I’m glad we won it.”
Andy Murray beat Radu Albot 6-4, 6-3. He won his first victory in straight sets this year and agreed to a duel with Jack Draper.
The Briton committed just 18 unforced errors, compared to Albot’s 35, and never faced a break point, while firing six aces.
“Hopefully he can keep moving up the rankings and gaining confidence. Maybe I can have shorter games as well,” Murray said.
Jannik Sinner defeated Richard Gasquet 6-3, 7-6 (2). Sinner, 21, fired 20 forehands at the 36-year-old.
Two Argentines emerged victorious on the day, Francisco Cerúndolo (27th seed) beat local Jack Sock 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, while Sebastián Báez (30th) eliminated Australian Rinky Hijikata 6 -3, 6-1 .
Instead, Guido Pella lost to Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor (31st) 7-6(3), 7-6(4).
Draper, the same age, beat 24th seeded Dan Evans 6-4, 6-2. Félix Auger-Aliassime (10th) reached the third round with a 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory over Spaniard Pedro Martinez.
2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu defeated 20th-placed Magda Linette, 7-6(3), 6-2. Australian Open semi-finalist Linette earned an early break but Raducanu leveled at 5-5 before forcing a tiebreaker.
Caroline García (5th) defeated Dalma Galfi 6-1, 6-7 (4), 6-4. Daria Kasatkina (8th) beat Tatjana Maria, 6-2, 6-1.
Karolina Muchova defeated two-time Indian Wells champion Victoria Azarenka.
Besides Azarenka, the other fallen seeds are Petra Martic (25th) and Marie Bouzkova (28th).