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2023 Indian Wells: Gauff, Fritz among five Americans into fourth round
Birthday girl Coco Gauff and defending champion Taylor Fritz are part of a quintet of American singles stars into the last 16 in Indian Wells. They are joined by Jessica Pegula, Frances Tiafoe and Tommy Paul, who also advanced from the third-round action played across Sunday and Monday at the BNP Paribas Open.
All five will take the court again on Tuesday, when the entirety of the fourth round will be completed in the desert.
Gauff, who turned 19 on Monday, defeated 18-year-old Czech phenom Linda Noskova one day earlier. In a rare match in which the American was older than her opponent, the sixth-seeded Gauff scored a 6-4, 6-3 victory. She enjoyed a dominant day on serve, firing seven aces and saving the only break point against her.
"I felt a little pressure coming into today's match, to be honest with you, because of the age thing, which I've never thought about that in the past," Gauff said in a post-match presser. "I think because my age has been such a topic in conversation for so long, playing someone younger than me, you do feel a little pressure.
"But now that I'm getting older, like, I've got to get used to it," she added with a smile.
Read more on USOpen.org: 'I'm living my dream': Gauff reflects on 19th birthday
Gauff, who has not dropped a set in the tournament, next faces Switzerland's Rebecca Peterson for a place in the quarterfinals.
The third-seeded Pegula had to work harder on Sunday to reach the last 16, coming back from a set down for the second straight match in a 3-6, 6-4, 7-5 win against Anastasia Potapova.
In a back-and-forth contest of fine margins, Pegula finished with 106 points won to her opponent's 105. The pair combined to create 27 break points, with Pegula converting five of her 14 chances, including the decisive one in the final game of the match.
The American plays 15th seed Petra Kvitova on Tuesday.
On the men' s side, Taylor Fritz kicked his title defense into high gear with a 6-1, 6-2 domination of No. 30 seed Sebastian Baez on Monday. The one-sided result was in stark contrast to the 25-year-old's opening win against compatriot Ben Shelton, in which he battled back from a set down in a narrow triumph.
"I think I kind of just knew what to expect today much more than playing someone who has a really big serve, can just fire off winners," Fritz said, comparing his two victories. "I guess there is a lot less you can control in a match like that, like I played in my first match.
"I was ready today, knew what to expect. I played pretty solid. Got the job done."
Next up for the world No. 5: Hungary's Martin Fucsovics.
On Sunday, Frances Tiafoe also cruised into the last 16 with a 6-3, 6-2 result against Aussie Jason Kubler. The 14th seed has not dropped a set in his two Indian Wells wins, beginning with a victory over countryman Marcos Giron. He'll look to keep the streak going against Chile's Alejandro Tabilo.
Rounding out the singles success, Tommy Paul continued his standout season with a 4-6, 6-2, 6-4 upset of ninth seed Hubert Hurkacz on Monday. After reaching the Australian Open semifinals and the Acapulco final, Paul has stayed hot in the desert. He will face another Top 10 seed in No. 8 Felix Auger-Aliassime for a quarterfinal berth.
In doubles action, defending and two-time Indian Wells champions John Isner and Jack Sock edged Fabrice Martin and Kevin Krawietz 7-6(8), 6-4 on Sunday to book a quarterfinal showdown with Italians Fabio Fognini and Simone Bolelli. That match will be played on Thursday, when the singles quarterfinals also begin.
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