Victoria Azarenka pauses during a news conference Thursday to announce… (Mark J. Terrill / Associated…)
On the day after its longest day, the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at Indian Wells had the longest lull in the action Thursday.
Two women's stars, No. 1 Victoria Azarenka, and No. 7 Samantha Stosur, pulled out of separate quarterfinals and the day session at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden was over in the main stadium by late afternoon. That included a fill-in doubles match.
Wednesday's day session ran so late on the Stadium Court that it pushed the eventual finish of the night matches to 1:50 a.m.
Azarenka defaulted because of a right ankle injury that she said she had been nursing for a while and hoped to be able to keep healthy enough to defend her title here. Stosur suffered an injury to her right calf in the final game of her match Tuesday, against Mona Barthel.
Caroline Wozniacki, who was to play Azarenka, and Angelique Kerber, who would have played Stosur, will play each other Friday night, followed by Maria Sharapova against Maria Kirilenko.
The injuries Thursday left it to Tomas Berdych to provide the action. Berdych of the Czech Republic, seeded sixth, fought his way past unseeded Kevin Anderson of South Africa, 6-4, 6-4.
The last men's quarterfinal spot to be contested was Thursday night's marquee Roger Federer-Rafael Nadal match. The winner will play Berdych.