Paula Badosa and Viktoria Azarenka will do battle in the BNP Paribas Open final after both won their respective semifinals on Friday in Indian Wells.
Badosa continued her outstanding season by advancing to the biggest final of her career with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Ons Jabeur.
The 21st seed becomes the first Spanish woman in 25 years to reach the BNP Paribas Final.
"Mentally I think I'm very confident. I'm believing every point. Every day I'm working very hard as well. I think I'm progressing on a little bit of everything and that's what is making my level going up. That's why I'm in a final and playing against the best of the world,” Badosa said post match.
The Spaniard will take on two time BNP Paribas Open champion Viktoria Azarenka, who came from a set behind to defeat 24th seed Jelena Ostapenko 3-6, 6-3, 7-5.
"I thought the most important, I would say today, was my fight, that I can be really proud of," Azarenka said, in her post-match press conference.
“Analyzing the game, it was a lot of probably things that I could have maybe done a little bit better.”
"Overall she was playing really incredible in the first set, not giving me much to do. I was just trying to find opportunity, actually create opportunity, for me to get back into the match, to take a little bit more control in the match, really fight for every ball,” Azarenka said.
On the men’s side, American Taylor Fritz saved two match points to advance to the semifinals, taking down World No. 4 Alexander Zverev 4-6, 6-3, 7-6(3).
Fritz rallied from 2-5 down in the deciding set, saving two match points to defeat the Olympic Gold Medalist.
“I was really down and out but I found a way to put myself into it,” Fritz said in his post match on-court interview.
“I really wanted to make him have to close me out and I was able to get back into the match. Normally you would be so nervous in those situations and in the third set tie-break, but I felt so confident being aggressive, going after my game. It feels really great to play well with the pressure on,” Fritz said.
Fritz will face Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili, who upset No. 2 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
The Georgian advances to his maiden ATP Masters 1000 semifinal.
“I have played really great matches this tournament,” Basilashvili said post match.
“I was not that happy with how I played today but I was happy with how I managed my stress levels. First time in the quarter-finals and it is a big court and Stefanos is a super tough player. I had to keep my physical levels and energy levels in a really good shape because I knew mentally I would be a little bit tight and stressed.”
On the doubles court, Aussie John Peers and Slovakian Filip Polasek continued their fantastic form, taking down No. 8 seeds Marcelo Melo and Ivan Dodig 6-4, 7-6(1).
Listen to The First Serve with Brett Phillips each Monday at 8pm AEST on 1116AM SEN Melbourne, 1629AM SEN SA / 1170am Sydney or listen live and catch up on the SEN App.
Do solar panels work in winter? Solar energy output in Australia throughout winter is surprisingly high in some cities. You can learn more about better solar energy at B Solar. Talk with a B.Solar Advisor. Search for B Solar or visit b.solar to learn more.