Spectators at Friday’s night session got their money’s worth in the women’s semifinals at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
The first match featured French Open champion Iga Swiatek  versus 2015 champion and two time Grand Slam champ Simona Halep. Swiatek came out victorious with a 7-6(6) 6-4 score after the 1:50 hour battle. Halep played some of her best tennis, chasing down every ball and making Swiatek fight, but it was not enough this time.
The match was truly a battle. In a moment of frustration, Simona Halep earned a warning for racquet abuse and just like her Wilson racquet, the players did not leave the court unscathed. Halep needed medical time out to have her leg attended to. Swiatek took a fall running for a drop shot and ended up in the net.
Luckily, neither player expressed significant concern over her health after the match. Halep said, “Now [the leg] is sore, but I hope in few days it will be okay.” Swiatek, her knuckle bloody as she spoke with media, said her tumble was a familiar feeling: “it felt like the old times, because when I was younger I was falling on every practice, I don’t even know why. I remember one person who was observing my practices when I was like, 12 or 14, he made some comments, ‘Hey, why are you always on the ground’?” The injuries, she insisted, are only skin deep.
Halep was ever gracious in defeat, saying, “It was a tough one. She played really well and I had some chances, but I didn’t take them. So, yeah, it was a pretty solid match and all the credit to her because she was more focused in the important moments.”
Swiatek is proud of her accomplishments, specifically the mental and strategic elements of how her game developed this year: “I’m pretty glad that I’m good at balancing the aggression, the control, because that’s I think that’s the most important thing in tennis. Really we are super strong and we can hit really hard, but we got to choose the right moments. And earlier I didn’t feel like I was choosing the right moments, but I think it also comes with a little bit of experience.”
In the title match Sunday at 13:00 local time, Swiatek faces Maria Sakkari, who eliminated defending champion Paula Badosa in the other semifinal.