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Federer moves on, Stephens loses at Indian Wells

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. — Roger Federer rolled past No. 25 seed Filip Krajinovic 6-2, 6-1 in pursuit of a record sixth BNP Paribas Open title on Monday, while Sloane Stephens remained mired in her post-U.S. Open slump.

Federer improved to 65-5 since returning from a left knee injury last year with his third-round victory in a rare day match. The Swiss star’s young son, Lenny, watched from a box wearing a Superman cap.

What he saw was his 36-year-old father overcome a shaky first set in which there were four breaks of serve. Federer hit a running forehand passing shot to break at love and take the set 6-2. Federer cruised to a 3-0 lead in the second and closed out the win in 58 minutes.

“I was playing aggressive and feeling like he was not loving my slice,” said Federer, who owns the No. 1 ranking. “I was able to mix up my game nicely, make it difficult for him.”

Serena and Venus Williams were to resume their rivalry in a third-round night match, the sisters’ earliest meeting since Venus won in the second round of the 1998 Australian Open. Serena owns a 17-11 advantage overall and has won eight of their last nine matches.

Stephens lost to Daria Kasatkina of Russia 6-4, 6-3, and fell to 2-4 in matches this year.

“I mean, not going to be too down about it,” Stephens said. “There’s always next week and the week after.”

Kasatkina has beaten all four of the current Grand Slam champions in the last year: French Open winner Jelena Ostapenko, Australian Open winner Caroline Wozniacki, Wimbledon winner Garbine Muguruza and now Stephens.

Stephens, who won her first major at Flushing Meadows last fall, lost in the first rounds at the Australian Open and in Sydney before reaching the quarterfinals at Acapulco.

Wozniacki outlasted Aliaksandra Sasnovich of Belarus 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 for her 31st career match win at Indian Wells, where she has played 12 straight years. She won in the desert in 2011 and has been runner-up twice.

In other third-round matches, No. 7 Carolina Garcia of France beat 26th-seeded Daria Gavrilova of Australia 7-5, 6-4; No. 10 Angelique Kerber of Germany defeated No. 24 Elena Vesnina of Russia 7-5, 6-2; and American Danielle Collins continued her run with a 6-4, 6-4 win over fellow wild card Sofya Zhuk of Russia.

“It definitely feels like a big deal because I have never gone this far in a tournament,” Collins said.

On the men’s side, Borna Coric of Croatia upset No. 13 Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain 6-1, 6-3; Jeremy Chardy beat No. 20 Adrian Mannarino 7-5, 4-6, 6-1 in an all-French matchup; and No. 11 Pablo Carreno Busta of Spain defeated Daniil Medvedev of Russia 6-1, 7-5.


Kasatkina upsets Venus Williams to reach Indian Wells final

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INDIAN WELLS, Calif. (AP) Daria Kasatkina upset Venus Williams 4-6, 6-4, 7-5 in a nearly three-hour baseline struggle to reach the final of the BNP Paribas Open on Friday night.

Kasatkina was two points from defeat, trailing 4-5 and 0-30 in the third set when Williams committed four straight errors as the 20-year-old Russian tied it 5-all.

Williams won just two more points as Kasatkina took the last two games to close out the match in 2 hours, 48 minutes. Kasatkina dropped her racket near the baseline and covered her face with her hands as she walked to the net.

After shaking hands, Kasatkina pumped her fists and shook her head slightly as if in disbelief at beating the 37-year-old American and advancing to the biggest final of her young career.

Top-ranked Simona Halep took on Naomi Osaka, a 20-year-old from Japan, in the other semifinal.

After losing the first set, Kasatkina was visited by her coach on court. Philippe Dehaes told her, “She’s 37, you’re 20. Make her work a lot.”

When she wasn’t trading shots from the baseline, a nervy Kasatkina fooled Williams with drop shots, including two that landed just over the net near the sideline. The Russian tossed up lobs over the 6-foot-1 American – some worked, some didn’t, but she was undeterred.

There were 14 service breaks in the match.

Williams rallied from 3-1 down to win the first set. She trailed 3-1 again in the second and tied it 3-all when Kasatkina was broken on a double fault.

Kasatkina won the last four games in a row to take the second set. The players dueled through eight deuces in an epic eighth game, with the Russian turning back six break points against her. Williams pulled a forehand wide to lose the game.

Kasatkina’s coach visited her again before the third set.

“You go for it?” he asked her.

“Sure,” she replied, and they slapped hands.

Williams served a love game to go up 5-4. She led love-30 on Kasatkina’s serve in the next game before her forehand deserted her.

Williams double-faulted twice in a row to drop serve and trail 6-5. Kasatkina won on her second match point when Williams netted a backhand.

Kasatkina now owns a 2-1 record against Williams, who won 10-8 in the third round at Wimbledon in 2016.

Juan Martin del Potro defeated No. 31 seed Philipp Kohlschreiber of Germany 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, and Milos Raonic beat 18th-seeded American Sam Querrey 7-5, 2-6, 6-3 to reach the men’s semifinals.

More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis

Maria Sharapova withdraws from Miami with forearm injury

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the Miami Open that begins next week because of a left forearm injury.

Sharapova announced the decision on Friday. She’ll be replaced in the main draw by American Jennifer Brady.

Sharapova lost in the first round at Indian Wells last week and in the third round of the Australian Open in January. She returned to the tour last year after a 15-month doping ban.

The women’s field includes eight-time Key Biscayne champion Serena Williams and No. 1-ranked Simona Halep. The men’s field includes defending champion Roger Federer and six-time Key Biscayne champ Novak Djokovic.