Tennis·ROUNDUP

Canada's Leylah Fernandez eliminated by defending champion Badosa in 4th round at Indian Wells

Canada's Leylah Fernandez has been eliminated from the BNP Paribas Open. The 19-year-old from Laval, Que., lost 6-4, 6-4 to defending champion Paula Badosa of Spain in Tuesday night's round of 16.

19-year-old from Laval, Que., falls 6-4, 6-4 at BNP Paribas Open

Canada's Leylah Fernandez returns a shot during her loss against Paula Badosa of Spain on Tuesday at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif. (Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press)

Canada's Leylah Fernandez has been eliminated from the BNP Paribas Open.

The 19-year-old from Laval, Que., lost 6-4, 6-4 to defending champion Paula Badosa of Spain in Tuesday night's round of 16 in Indian Wells, Calif.

Fernandez arrived at Indian Wells on the heels of a victory at the Monterrey Open a week earlier, the second WTA title of her career.

Badosa drew first blood in the opening set when she broke for a 4-3 lead and although Fernandez hit back with a break, the Spaniard raised her level to take the early advantage in the contest.

After a sluggish start to the second set, she held serve in a five-deuce game to go up 5-3 before closing out the victory.

Badosa has not dropped a set at the WTA 1000 tournament in the Southern California desert, as she looks to secure only the fourth title of her career. She will next face either Veronika Kudermetova or Marketa Vondrousova.

Badosa beat Victoria Azarenka in a three-hour final to win the 2021 BNP Paribas Open. She is seeking to become the first woman to defend the Indian Wells title in over three decades

WATCH l Fernandez ousted by Badosa at BNP Paribas Open:

Defending champ, Badosa, too much to handle for Fernandez at Indian Wells

5 months ago
Duration 1:13
Paula Badosa picked up a break in each set, and Leylah Fernandez couldn't touch the Spaniard's serve in a 6-4, 6-4 loss.

In other women's fourth-round action, Madison Keys beat British qualifier Harriett Dart, 6-1, 6-4. Keys is the last American woman still in the tournament.

"I really just kind of buckled down," Keys said. "If I got a second serve, I was going to be more aggressive. When I got the opportunity, I was going to go for it."

Swiatek outlasts Kerber

No. 3 seed Iga Swiatek outlasted three-time major champion and former No. 1 player Angelique Kerber, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

"I felt like she wanted to use her experience and kind of trick me," Swiatek said. "I like that because it's like a new experience for me. I'm pretty proud of myself that I could win against such a smart player."

Simona Halep, the 2015 champion, beat Sorana Cirstea 6-1, 6-4. The Romanians played for the first time in 12 years and have split their four meetings.

"I feel like I played perfect in the first set," Halep said. "The second set was a little bit tougher because I started to miss. She started to play a little bit better. But I think it's a strong victory for me."

Petra Martic of Croatia beat No. 28 Liudmila Samsonova, 7-6 (6), 6-4. No. 6 Maria Sakkari advanced when qualifier Daria Saville retired trailing 4-1 because of a left thigh injury.

Fritz, Isner advance on men's side

Taylor Fritz defeated Spanish qualifier Jaume Munar 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (2) in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open, making him one of five American men still alive in the desert tournament.

Fritz reached the semifinals at Indian Wells last year, his career-best result in an ATP Masters 1000 event. The son of former WTA Tour pro Kathy May has been on an upward trajectory since, reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open in January — his best showing yet in a Grand Slam event.

John Isner beat 14th-seeded Diego Schwartzman, 7-5, 6-3, to reach the fourth round. The six-foot-11 American capitalized on his 16-inch height advantage, blasting 13 aces and frustrating Schwartzman with clever drop shots. Isner didn't even need any tiebreakers; 18 of his 30 sets played this year have ended in tiebreakers.

Two other Americans, Tommy Paul and wild-card Steve Johnson, got beat. Paul lost to 29th-seeded Alex de Minaur, 7-6 (2), 6-4. Johnson dropped a 7-6 (7), 6-3 decision to 11th-seeded Hubert Hurkacz.

"Tommy is really close to cracking into being seeded at slams," Fritz said. "Reilly [Opelka] is consistently beating very, very good players. It's not weird to see these guys beating really good players, having solid results."

Americans Frances Tiafoe and Steve Johnson were to play night matches.

On Wednesday, two more Americans have big fourth-round matches. No. 17 seed Opelka plays 21-time major champion Rafael Nadal, while Jenson Brooksby takes on defending champion and 12th-seeded Cameron Norrie.

"For the first time in a while you can actually say American tennis on the men's side is very promising," Isner said. "We have a lot of players in the top 100. I do think getting two players in the top 10 sometime in the near future is very conceivable."

Grand Slams to use 10-point tiebreaker in final set

All four Grand Slam tennis tournaments will now use a 10-point tiebreaker when matches reach 6-6 in the final set.

The Grand Slam Board announced the trial move, taking effect immediately, on behalf of the Australian, French and U.S. Opens and Wimbledon on Wednesday.

"The Grand Slam Board's decision is based on a strong desire to create greater consistency in the rules of the game at the Grand Slams, and thus enhance the experience for the players and fans alike," it said.

The Australian Open already uses the 10-point tiebreaker. The French Open, which begins May 22, was the only major to not use a deciding tiebreaker. Wimbledon had employed a seven-point tiebreaker from 12-12, and the U.S. Open used a seven-point tiebreaker from 6-6.

"The central idea of the four Grand Slam tournaments was absolutely to line up. That was really the priority," said Amelie Mauresmo, a two-time Grand Slam champion now the tourney director of the French Open. "For the sake of consistency, for the understanding of the fans, the players, the media."

Rule changes were sought after John Isner beat Nicolas Mahut 70-68 in the final set of their first round match at Wimbledon in 2010. The match lasted 11 hours, 5 minutes and stretched over three days.

With files from Reuters

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