Milos Raonic advances to 4th round at Indian Wells
No. 32 seed from Thornhill, Ont., will face winner of Marcos Baghdatis and Dudi Sela
Canada's Milos Raonic advanced to the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open on Tuesday, beating Joao Sousa of Portugal 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.
Raonic, seeded 32nd at the Masters 1,000 tournament and ranked 38th in the ATP standings, used his powerful serve to get past his unseeded opponent.
The Thornhill, Ont., product fired 12 aces to Sousa's seven and won 93 per cent of his first-service points.
Raonic was down 5-4 in the first set but battled back, breaking Sousa as he was serving for the set. He broke Sousa again for the 7-5 win.
Raonic was 4 for 11 in break-points and had 100 total winners throughout the match, which lasted two hours 12 minutes.
The 27-year-old right-hander made the finals of the BNP Paribas Open in 2016 before losing to Novak Djokovic.
Raonic is the last Canadian remaining in the singles draw. He defeated 17-year-old Felix Auger-Aliassime of Montreal in the third round.
Denis Shapovalov of Richmond Hill, Ont., was ousted in the second round.
Williams moves to quarters
Later on Tuesday, Venus Williams defeated Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia 7-6 (8), 6-4 to reach the quarter-finals as the oldest woman in the draw.
The 37-year-old American was coming off a straight-set victory over younger sister Serena a night earlier, ending a three-match skid against her sibling.
"It was a quick turnaround from last night when it feels like, 'Hey, this is a final to you're only in the fourth round,"' Williams said on court.
Playing under cloudy skies in the heat, Williams had her hands full with Sevastova, who used drop shots, top spin, lobs and jerked her 10-years-older opponent side to side.
"There were some points where she just played and it was too good," Williams said. "I thought I was in control of the point and winning the point, and she turned it around. It's just real talent."
Halep on track to hold No. 1
After early losses in her first two tournaments of the year, Williams hasn't dropped a set at Indian Wells, where she has yet to reach the final in six previous appearances.
Awaiting Williams in the quarter-finals is 27th-seeded Carla Suarez Navarro of Spain, who beat American wild card Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-4.
Simona Halep is on track to retain her No. 1 world ranking after defeating Wang Qiang of China 7-5, 6-1 in the fourth round.
Halep is the only former Indian Wells winner left in the women's draw after No. 20 Daria Kasatkina upset No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 7-5. Wozniacki blew a 3-0 lead in the first set and was on the run most of the match before losing for the second time this year to the 20-year-old Russian.
By reaching the quarter-finals, Kasatkina is projected to surpass her career-best ranking of 17th. She has beaten all four current Grand Slam titleholders in the past year, including U.S. Open winner Sloane Stephens in straight sets this week.
Anisimova's run ends
Halep improved to 17-1 this year and needs only to reach the final to stay at the top.
Next up for Halep is Petra Martic of Croatia, who beat Marketa Vondrousova of the Czech Republic 6-3, 7-6 (4).
American teenager Amanda Anisimova's run of success ended in a 6-1, 7-6 (2) loss to No. 5 seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic.
Anisimova, a 16-year-old wild card, won her first three WTA Tour matches at Indian Wells, beating Pauline Parmentier, No. 23 seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova and two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova without dropping a set.
"She's 16, so she's not scared," Pliskova said of Anisimova. "You can see she's hitting the ball without thinking. But everybody is playing like this when they are 16. I think this will change a little bit in the future, but for sure the game is good and not really any weakness. I think everything is pretty solid."
Pliskova faces a quarter-final against Naomi Osaka, who beat Maria Sakkari of Greece 6-1, 5-7, 6-1.
Ken Flach dies
Ken Flach, who won four Grand Slam titles in men's doubles and two in mixed doubles, has died, according to the ATP World Tour and International Tennis Federation. He was 54.
The ATP World Tour announced Tuesday that Flach died Monday night in California after a brief illness.
In a posting on Facebook, Flach's widow, Christina, wrote: "The love of my life, Ken Flach, passed away after fighting pneumonia and septic."
Flach reached No. 1 in the men's doubles rankings and paired with Robert Seguso to form one of the world's top teams in the 1980s.
They won 28 titles together, including major championships at the U.S. Open in 1985 and Wimbledon in 1987 and 1988. Flach and Seguso also collected a gold medal for the United States at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.
Flach won the 1993 U.S. Open men's doubles title with Rick Leach.
With files from The Associated Press