Fri, Mar 15, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Teens Andreescu, Kecmanovic surge past veterans

AP, INDIAN WELLS, California

Bianca Andreescu returns to Garbine Muguruza at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California, on Wednesday.

Photo: AFP

A couple of teenagers are shaking things up at the BNP Paribas Open.

Bianca Andreescu, an 18-year-old Canadian, on Wednesday routed two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza 6-0, 6-1 in 52 minutes to reach the semi-finals.

Miomir Kecmanovic, a 19-year-old Serb ranked 130th in the world, became the first lucky loser to reach the quarter-finals at Indian Wells since 1990, advancing when Yoshihito Nishioka retired in the second set.

The kids are all right, indeed.

Andreescu won the first nine games against Muguruza, so called for her coach trailing 4-1 in the second set. He urged her to “change something.”

“I felt like every time I was trying something different she was coming up with better shots,” Muguruza said. “She was keeping her high level all the time.”

Andreescu broke Muguruza at love and then served out the match after a deuce game, hitting consecutive forehand winners.

“I just went out there, went for it. I didn’t focus on who was on the other side,” Andreescu said. “It really helped me, and I used my serve to my advantage. She didn’t serve so well today, so I took advantage of that as well.”

In the semi-finals, the teenager is to play sixth seed Elina Svitolina, who beat Marketa Vondrousova 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Andreescu is the third wild card in the tournament’s history to reach the semi-finals. Serena Williams was the last in her return to the desert in 2015.

She was runner-up at Auckland and made the semi-finals in Mexico before coming to the desert.

“I know she’s good, but zero and one, she destroyed her,” said Denis Shapovalov, who could not keep Canada’s run going in a 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 6-3 loss to Hubert Hurkacz. “We grew up together. We started from the bottom together, so it’s amazing to see her doing so well.”

Meanwhile, Kecmanovic is making history of his own.

“It will be funny that somebody other than Novak [Djokovic] is still in,” Kecmanovic said of his famous countryman who was upset on Tuesday.

Nishioka retired after losing the first set 6-4, having first sought treatment on court.

Kecmanovic got another dose of luck when he received a wild card for next week’s tournament in Miami.

“I’m going to get a [lottery] ticket,” he said.

Kecmanovic next plays 13th seed Milos Raonic of Canada, who beat German Jan-Lennard Struff 6-4, 6-3.

Rafael Nadal defeated qualifier Filip Krajinovic 6-3, 6-4 and remains on track for a potential semi-final against Roger Federer in the bottom half of the draw.

Seeking a record sixth title at Indian Wells, Federer beat Kyle Edmund 6-1, 6-4 in 64 minutes.

“I was relieved I got through that one,” Federer said. “He’s got everything in the game. It’s just a matter of keeping improving, keep plugging away, and then he will make big results again.”

Federer is to face Hurkacz for the first time in the quarter-finals.

Next up for Nadal is Karen Khachanov, who beat John Isner 6-4, 7-6 (7/1).

Dominic Thiem defeated Ivo Karlovic 6-4, 6-3 and is to play Gael Monfils, who defeated Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-0, 6-2.

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