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Champ Paula Badosa back in Indian Wells quarters

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Paula Badosa of Spain hits a return to Leylah Fernandez of Canada during the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., on Tuesday, March 15, 2022.Bnp Paribas Open Badosa Vs Fernandez470
Credit: Taya Gray/The Desert Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

Defending champion Paula Badosa advanced to the quarterfinals of the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., with a 6-4, 6-4 victory over Leylah Fernandez on Tuesday.

Badosa, a 24-year-old Spaniard, is the tournament’s fifth seed. She is seeking her second tournament title of the year, having won the Sydney (Australia) Tennis Classic in January.

She has now won her past nine matches in Indian Wells.

“Can we make every week a tournament here?” Badosa joked postmatch. “I hope for it.”

Fernandez, a 19-year-old Canadian, was seeded 18th. She was coming off a championship run at Monterrey, Mexico, earlier this month, her best result since her surprising run to the U.S. Open final last fall.

Two service breaks late in the first set put Badosa in control, and she earned the lone service break of the second set for a 3-2 lead.

“I knew I had to fight and serve well,” Badosa said. “I think I did that the entire match, and I’m very, very happy to be back in the quarterfinals again.”

Badosa’s next opponent will be either 21st-seeded Veronika Kudermetova of Russia or 30th-seeded Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic, who met in the last match Tuesday night.

Elsewhere in fourth-round action, 24th-seeded Simona Halep easily won an all-Romanian matchup against 26th-seeded Sorana Cirstea, 6-1, 6-4. Croatia’s Petra Martic beat 28th-seeded Russian Liudmilla Samsonova 7-6 (6), 6-4, and third-seeded Iga Swiatek of Poland got past 15th-seeded German Angelique Kerber 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

The United States’ Madison Keys, the tournament’s 25th seed, dumped Great Britain’s Harriet Dart 6-1, 6-4. Sixth-seeded Maria Sakkari of Greece led 5-1 in the first set when Australia’s Daria Saville retired due to an apparent left thigh injury.

–Field Level Media