Tennis: Svitolina survives Cirstea onslaught, Swiatek reaches Indian Wells fourth round

Elina Svitolina of Ukraine returns a shot to Sorana Cirstea of Romania during the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden on Oct 10, 2021. PHOTO: AFP

INDIAN WELLS, California (REUTERS) - Fourth seed Elina Svitolina survived a third-round onslaught from Romanian Sorana Cirstea to win 4-6 6-4 7-6(3) at Indian Wells on Sunday (Oct 10), while Polish second seed Iga Swiatek eased past Veronika Kudermetova 6-1 6-0.

Ukraine's Svitolina, who won the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics, saved 12 of the 16 break point opportunities Cirstea set up in the two-hour-and-32-minute contest, and had to fight back from 4-2 down in the third set to survive.

A dominant Swiatek dropped only three of her first serve points and never faced a break, firing off five aces against Russian Kudermetova, who was unable to get a foothold into the match, which lasted 54 minutes.

On the men's side, world number seven Matteo Berrettini defeated Chilean Alejandro Tabilo 6-4 7-5 in their second-round match.

Berrettini saved both break points he faced and served 11 aces against Tabilo, and the Italian, who lost to world number one Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final earlier this year, let out a roar as he clinched the match.

"Today it wasn't easy. I struggled the past days with my body, so I knew that I wouldn't - I told myself to not expect like the best performance, but I'm pretty sure that when the level is going to be higher I'm going to be ready," he said.

Berrettini's compatriot, 10th-seeded Jannik Sinner, took down Australian John Millman 6-2 6-2, while France's Gael Monfils defeated Gianluca Mager 6-4 6-2.

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