Raonic ends Kecmanovic run, reaches Indian Wells semi-finals AFP, Indian Wells

Indian Wells 2019

The world number eight earned her third semi-final in the Women's Tennis Association Premier Mandatory event event with a 7-6, 6-3 win over the 38-year-old American at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.

In the women's section, a slew of errors came at the worst possible time for Venus Williams as she blew a first set tie-break before losing 7-6 (3), 6-3 to Angelique Kerber in the quarterfinals. Andy Bettles, Svitolina's coach, told his player "She's dying physically" during the break after the fifth game of the set.

Mari Osaka, a year-older than her 21-year-old sister who has shot to the top of the rankings thanks to back-to-back Grand Slam titles at the United States and Australian Opens, has twice played in WTA doubles made draws, most recently with Naomi at the 2017 Toray Pan Pacific Open.

Belinda Bencic is coming off a three sets win over Karolina Pliskova that took 28 games to decide. She won her third career title at Dubai last month and her first since 2015.

"She changed the rhythm a little bit", Kerber said.

In the victory, Kerber won 65 percent of her first serve points and 68 percent of her second serve points.

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"I know that I have to play my best tennis in the final again, and I will try to enjoy it as well".

Williams alternately smacked winners from the baseline and sprayed shots beyond the lines. Until Kerber stopped her, Williams had won four matches in a row for the first time since previous year in the desert. This is Kerber's third semi-final in Indian Wells, coming almost six years after her last appearance (in 2013, lost to Caroline Wozniacki).

With the momentum in her favour, Kerber edged out the seven-time grand slam champion in a closely fought second set to advance to the final four.

With their first ever meeting going the distance, Bencic took the decider to extend her winning run to 12 matches and back up her upset of top seed and defending champion Naomi Osaka in the fourth round. The 22-year-old Swiss player missed five months in 2017 after wrist surgery. The players then exchanged breaks before Andreescu won two games in a row to go up 5-3.

"When you're confident, you can really just trust your instincts and you don't have to think about it at all", Bencic said.

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