Madison Keys, John Isner keep American flag flying high

Madison Keys showed that her solid play in 2022 was not confined to Australia.

After winning an Australian Open warm-up event in Adelaide and then making it to the semifinals in the Aussie Open, Keys is making it look easy in Indian Wells.

Keys rolled into the quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Harriet Dart of Great Britain on Tuesday. She’s in the final eight here after being knocked out in the first round at Indian Wells in October.

Keys, seeded 25th, will have a tough test next against No. 3 seed Iga Swiatek.

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American Madison Keys hits a return to Harriet Dart of Great Britain during the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. Keys moves on to the quarterfinals.

Isner stays hot

John Isner moved into the Round of 16 without dropping a set so far after dispatching Diego Schwartzman 7-5, 6-3 on Tuesday. It was an impressive win for the 23rd-seeded Isner against the 14th-seeded Schwartzman. Isner had his serve working and the conditions in the desert suit his game.

“Honestly, these conditions are pretty tailor-made for me so if I was playing Diego on clay in Europe it’s probably a different story,” Isner told the crowd after the match. “But I play my best when I’m at home in America and on hard courts. I appreciated the crowd support, and I don’t take it for granted. I’ve been playing professional tennis for almost 15 years now, and it’s extremely special.”

Next up for Isner is the winner of a late Tuesday match between Alexander Bublik and Grigor Dimitrov.

John Isner hits a shot during his win over Diego Schwartzman at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., March 15, 2022.

Swiatek emerges with win

Iga Swiatek is the highest-seeded player left in the women’s draw of the BNP Pariabas Open this year, but early in Tuesday’s match, that was in peril.

After losing the first set to Angelique Kerber, Swiatek rallied for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory to advance to the quarterfinals. Swiatek, the No. 3 seed, had her hands full with Kerber, a three-time Grand Slam winner with the ability to vary her game in a match.

“I don’t know, attack or just hold the ball,” Swiatek said of her dilemma against Kerber. “It was tricky, because she was just giving it back. If I went attack, I was basically making a mistake. Sometimes she was attacking when the pace was slower.

Iga Swiatek hits a shot during her match against Angelique Kerber at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Calif., March 15, 2022.

“At important moments, yeah, I was patient,” Swiatek added.

Kerber won the first set, but Swiatek had control of the second set. Kerber then took a 3-2 lead in the third set, but Swiatek won the last four games of the match to earn the quarterfinal berth.

Paul ousted by Aussie

In the men’s draw, Indian Wells saw a remarkable seven American men left in the final 24 of the tournament, a great showing at a tournament that hasn’t been won by an American since Andre Agassi in 2001. But the American field began to shrink Tuesday, and part of that was Tommy Paul’s loss to Australian and 29th seed Alex De Minaur.

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