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Naomi Osaka continues magical run in the California Desert

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20-year-old Japanese Naomi Osaka has become the first ever Japanese to make the semifinals of a Premier Mandatory as she convincingly beat Karolina Pliskova to reach the last four in Indian Wells on Thursday.

The world number 44, in what was her second career top 5 win, thrashed Czech’s Pliskova 6-2, 6-3 to set up a semifinal clash with world number one Simona Halep.

Romania’s Halep outlasted Petra Martic 6-4, 7-6, 6-3 after two hours and 24 minutes to remain on course for a second Indian Wells title.

Top seed Simona Halep in action at the BNP Paribas Open in California

Halep, who won the title in the Californian desert in 2015, has lost just one match this season – the defeat by Caroline Wozniacki in the Australian Open final – and underlined her all-court game with a strong service display and broke Martic’s serve nine times.

Germany’s Angelique Kerber was as ruthless as Bismarck, firing her way into the quarterfinals with a comfortable 6-1, 6-1 win over Frenchwoman Caroline Garcia.

Kerber will square off against Russia’s Daria Kasatkina for a place in the last four.

In the men’s draw, Roger Federer strolled into the Indian Wells Masters quarter-final with a 7-5, 6-4 victory over unseeded Frenchman Jeremy Chardy.

The Swiss great, who’s yet to lose a single match this year, will face South Korea’s sensation, Hyeon Chung in the quarters.

Chung defeated 30th seeded Pablo Cuevas 6-1, 6-3.

In the other matches, Borna Coric claimed a 6-2 6-7(6-8) 6-4 victory over American home favourite Taylor Fritz in windy conditions, while South Africa’s Kevin Anderson came back from a set down to beat Pablo Carreno 4-6, 6-3, 7-6.

Juan Martin del Porto continued his fine run of form with a 3-6, 7-6, 6-3 over Leonardo Mayer.

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