Published: Sun, March 17, 2019
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Angelique Kerber and Bianca Andreescu set title clash — WTA Indian Wells

Angelique Kerber and Bianca Andreescu set title clash — WTA Indian Wells

Bencic's victory set up a semifinal against No. 8 seed Angelique Kerber, who beat error-prone Venus Williams 7-6 (3), 6-3 in a matchup of 30-somethings.

Nearly nothing could separate Andreescu and Svitolina on the court, with the Canadian winning just two points more overall, fending off 13 out of 19 break points and securing six breaks of serve, two of those in the decider to push herself over the finish line.

Milos Raonic of Canada plays a forehand against Miomir Kecmanovic of Serbia during their men's singles quarterfinal match at the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on March 14, 2019 in Indian Wells, California. A backhand down the line victor sent Belinda 3-2 up and she fired a service victor for a hold at 15 in game six and even a more significant advantage.

Standing in her way is Kerber, the 31-year-old German who is the former world No. 1 and entered the tournament ranked eighth. Breaking the Canadian on her opening two service games, the sixth-seed looked to have taken control of the first set. In the victory, Bencic won 78 percent of her first serve points and 45 percent of her second serve points. "I'm really happy to be in the final for the first time now". Kerber has won three of the four Grand Slam tournaments in her career, including the most recent Wimbledon, and will present a formidable challenge for the upstart Andreescu as the players face off for the first time.

Williams alternately smacked winners from the baseline and sprayed shots beyond the lines. Bencic has now won 15 of her last 17 matches overall and has won seven straight matches that have gone the distance.

Bencic was pushed to three sets for the first time in four matches at the tournament. She was coming off a straight-set upset of defending champion and top-ranked Naomi Osaka in the fourth round. In the third, she overcame a break point to hold at 2-all but only won one more game the rest of the way.

"Physically, it was tough somehow, and the wind didn't help much", Pliskova said.

But out of nowhere, the 18-year-old seemed to find a new lease of life. "So my serve was bad, my shots were bad". Bencic has won won her last 10 matches on outdoor hard court.

"When you're confident, you can really just trust your instincts and you don't have to think about it at all". The players then exchanged breaks before Andreescu won two games in a row to go up 5-3.

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