Defending champion Iga Swiatek through to last four at Indian Wells

Defending champion Iga Swiatek swept past Sorana Cirstea to reach the semi-finals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells.

Swiatek, who ousted Emma Raducanu in the previous round, underlined her status as top seed as she defeated her Romanian opponent 6-2 6-3 in an hour and 22 minutes on court.

Cirstea, ranked number 83 in the world, picked up the scalp of fifth seed Caroline Garcia in the fourth round but was unable to match Swiatek.

The Pole broke at her first opportunity and at one stage stitched together eight successive games to tie up the first set and lead the second 4-0.

Her charge was delayed as Cirstea mounted a comeback of sorts but that only delayed the inevitable as Swiatek moved into the last four without dropping a set.

A potential final against second seed Aryna Sabalenka, who faces Maria Sakkari in the semis, is still on the cards but Swiatek must first see off Elena Rybakina. The 10th seed had earlier beaten Karolina Muchova 7-6 (4) 2-6 6-4.

Rybakina is the reigning Wimbledon champion and defeated Swiatek en route to the final of the Australian Open. She was not at her most clinical against a resilient Muchova, offering up 32 unforced errors in a contest that lasted two hours and 45 minutes.

In the men’s tournament, Jannik Sinner ousted defending champion Taylor Fritz 6-4 4-6 6-4.

The Italian will face top seed Carlos Alcaraz in the semi-finals, after the Spaniard eclipsed eighth seed Felix Auger-Aliassime in straight sets.