In a rematch of the Australian Open round of 16, Iga Swiatek will take on Elena Rybakina in the second semifinal of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells. In their last match, the player representing Kazakhstan won 6-4 6-4. Although Indian Wells is also played on hard courts, they play much slower than the Melbourne courts, giving Swiatek an advantage.
The tenth-seeded Rybakina was relieved and cheerful when she met with press after her hard-fought quarterfinal victory over resurgent Czech player Karolina Muchova. The final score was 7-6(4) 2-6 6-4.
The Wimbledon champion did not have an easy time under the hot sun with intermittent wind gusts. She said, “I was a bit low on energy. Didn’t move that well. Didn’t serve also. So it was already struggle from the beginning. Karolina played really well, she was opening the court and using these slow conditions. It was difficult for me to get free points.”
The respect for her opponent was clear. Complementing Muchova with high praise, Rybakina added, “She’s very talented player. She has very good hands.” Commenting on the playing time Muchova lost to injuries, Rybakina went on to say, “I think that if she keeps on playing like this, for sure she’s gonna be much better with ranking in the next few weeks, months, because she has game at the net and pretty good serve. She’s moving the ball well, opening the court.”
After dropping two match points to win on a break at 5-3 in the third set, Rybakina did not hold back. The Kazakh explained to media, “I knew that the next game I’m serving, it’s an advantage and I need to push more to get this first serve so I can build the point. I’m just happy that in the end I managed to win the match with an ace.” A powerful serve will be critical in the semifinal against Swiatek on the slow courts.
Previewing the semifinal match up, Rybakina said, “Overall my game is to be aggressive. As I said, here it’s not easy, but I still have to stick to this game plan, and then try to prepare, to think also with my coaches what we can do here.”
For her quarterfinal, world No.1 Iga Swiatek played another quick two-set match. The Pole defeated unseeded Romanian Sorana Cirstea 6-2 6-3.
The women’s semifinals will be played Friday.
Swiatek  versus Rybakina 
Sabalenka  versus Sakkari