Swiatek, Wozniacki set up a generational quarterfinal clash at Indian Wells


The round of 16 concluded in Indian Wells on Tuesday, setting up a clash between Iga Swiatek and Caroline Wozniacki. The two have played once in 2019 on Toronto’s hardcourt when the younger player won in three sets.

The match between the two is one between generations of WTA players. Their ages are only eleven years apart, but their successes were shaped in different environments. The elder first reached world number-one status in 2010, competing with Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova. The younger first reached number one in 2022, fighting her way up through players like Naomi Osaka and Ash Barty.

Wozniacki reached the quarterfinal round of the BNP Paribas Open by defeating her close friend Angelique Kerber 6-4 6-2. During the match, both of the tour veterans required medical treatment. The victor had bandages on her toe adjusted, and the German had a medical timeout for work to be done on her lower back. Meeting with press after the match, the Dane extended well wishes to her friend, saying “Never nice to see your opponent feeling some pain and discomfort, so I hope that she’s going to be fine going into Miami.”

Having played each other sixteen times now, to say nothing of the countless joint practices, there are no surprises between the two: “We know what we do well, we know what we can improve on. At the end of the day, we know each other’s strengths and we know what our patterns and everything else is.”

For the next match against Swiatek, the 33-year-old Wozniacki is taking a different approach and relying in part on her work as a TV commentator to assess her opponent as much as personal experience: “She’s playing good tennis, playing powerfully. I practiced with her as well a few times after I have come back, during the US Open as well. I know how she plays, but it’s one thing knowing how she plays and also playing against her in a full match. I know that I have to play my best tennis to compete against her, and that’s what I hope to do.”

The top-seeded Swiatek advanced to the quarterfinals with a 6-1 6-2 victory over Yulia Putintseva. There was a moment of levity in the overwhelming defeat when the crowd erupted in cheers after the player representing Kazakhstan finally made it onto the board from being down 0-3 in the second set. As the stadium started roaring she laughed and gestured with her arms as though to say “Who, me? Oh, stop. You’re too kind.”

The Pole is excited to play the next opponent, whom she had practiced with a few times before and grew up watching: “I know a lot from a fan perspective, because I was watching her when I was younger. She’s really consistent, solid, and you have to be patient playing against Caroline. More tactical stuff, my coach is going to prepare for me and we’re going to talk before the match.”

Relaxing on the days off here, the 22-year-old has been working on putting together a model Vespa that she shared on Instagram: “There is a lot of light during the day here, so it’s really nice to just sit and enjoy the nature and do a Lego.” Asked if she listens to music while assembling the pieces, the world number one said, “There’s the playlist on Spotify, Have a Good Day, and it has some classic American hits.” She’s been having many good days here in the desert and shows no signs of slowing down.


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