Ostapenko signs semis with Azarenka at Indian Wells

Jelena Ostapenko, the former French Open champion, reached her first WTA 1000 semifinal in three years. She defeated Shelby Rogers in the final set 6-4, 6-6, 6-3 here in the BNP Paribas Open.

Jelena, 2017 Roland Garros champion, won a thrilling run at Indian Wells. She defeated Hsieh Sue-Wei and Yulia Putintseva as well as Shelby to reach her third semi-final in 2021. There, she will play Victoria Azarenka, a two-time champion, for a place in her first WTA 1000 final after 2018.

 

Jeleba was a mixed bag, with 51 winners and 46 unforced mistakes. Shelby scored 22 winners and 17 unforced mistakes.

After her impressive straight-set victory over No.2 seed Swiatek, the Round of 16 saw the 24th-seeded Latvian keep her clean sheet against Rogers, improving to 3-0 against the American. Jelena has had a remarkable success at Indian Wells, her first edition in fall. She was previously stuck in the California desert for the third round.

Jelena won five of the six first games in under 22 minutes. OstapenkoJele smashed the ball hard to the ground, resulting in a barrage from baseline winners. But Rogers’s ability to turn a set around or a match has been well-documented over the past weeks. She has won wins over No.1 Ashleigh Barrty in the US Open, Bianca Andreescu, and a thrilling victory against Leylah Fernandez at Indian Wells.

Rogers began to change the game as Jelena began to slow down her blistering hitting. Roger won the first three games from 1-5, but Jelena took the set 6-4.

Rogers might have lost the first set, but she was able to level up with Jelena in the second set. Rogers won 9 out of 10 second serve return points, breaking Jelena’s serves four times, and dominating Ostapenko in the first set.

Rogers had 4 winners and 6 unforced mistakes in the first set. Charleston’s 29-year old resident turned the tables in the second set. She hit 9 winners and 6 unforced mistakes in a controlled performance. Jelena scored 14 winners in the middle frame but made 18 unforced mistakes.

Victoria Azarenka from Belarus, the No.27 seed, beat Jessica Pegula 6-4, 6-1 on Wednesday to become the first semi-finalist in the 2021 desert edition.

Former World No.1 Azarenka took 1 hour, 34 minutes to finish the American Pegula run and reach the last four for the fourth consecutive year.