Thank you for joining me for this match here on VAVEL. I hope you enjoyed it. The recap of this match will be posted shortly by VAVEL's very own Brooks Giardina. This is Max Gao, signing off. Bye for now.
Final thoughts: Williams was not overwhelmingly impressive and Radwanska certainly put up a heck of a fight, but in the end, the world number one's power and precision proved too much for the new world number two to handle, who was throwing everything but the kitchen sink at the American. With this victory, not only does Williams advance to her first Indian Wells final in 15 years, she further cements her status as the best female tennis player in the world, showing that she is head and shoulders above the rest of the WTA -- even the new world number two. The world number one will now await the winner of the upcoming semi final between Victoria Azarenka and Karolina Pliskova, which will prove to be a stunner of a clash under the lights. Regardless of the outcome, the showpiece featuring Williams and Azarenka or Pliskova is guaranteed to host some of the finest tennis in the Californian desert.
"That's just an incredible career," Williams said when asked about her 14-year absence from the Californian desert. "I definitely didn't see myself back here, let alone in the final."
Game, set and match, Williams! Two sets to love, 6-4, 7-6(1) in an hour and 35 minutes. With this victory, the world number one advances to the final in Indian Wells for the first time in 15 years.
6-1, Williams: Radwanska misfires on a forehand and Williams has five match points.
5-1, Williams: After a poor unforced error on the first point, Williams makes up for it with a series of winners, including one big forehand drive volley winner to put her up 5-1.
4-1, Williams: Huge first serve from the 34-year-old puts her up a sizeable advantage.
3-1, Williams: The American drives a forehand down the line.
2-1, Williams: The world number one hits a scorching return winner to get the mini-break.
1-1: Williams responds with a huge crosscourt return.
1-0, Radwanska: Williams completely makes a mess out of a backhand volley.
WOOOW! Williams correctly anticipates a forehand and hits a screaming passing shot past Radwanska to break and force a second set tiebreak.
15-40: Radwanska nets a backhand. That could prove to be costly...
15-30: Great return from the world number one. Can she break back here?
15-15: Williams hits a HUGE inside-out forehand and lets out a huge come on!
15-0: Williams dumps a smash into the middle of the net.
And Radwanska breaks! She will serve for the set up 6-5. Can she hold?
30-40: WHOA! Radwanska hits a big forehand return and gets a break point.
30-30: Big serve from the American to restore parity in this 11th game.
15-30: Too good from Serena; Radwanska did what she could to stay in the point but Williams finds the corner of the court with a beautiful backhand down the line.
0-30: Good anticipation there from Radwanska, Williams not doing enough with the approach shot and the Pole made her pay and Williams nets the volley.
0-15: Williams nets a forehand.
Radwanska holds! Great stuff from the Pole to take the initiative and be aggressive. 5-5.
40-30: Second double fault from the Pole erases the first.
40-15: Williams nets a backhand to give Radwanska two game points.
30-15: Right idea but Radwanska just misses a forehand crosscourt.
30-0: Williams misses another return.
15-0: Big serve down the T from the Pole to begin the game.
Williams holds as Radwanska hits a crosscourt backhand passing shot into the tramlines. She is just a game away from her 88th WTA final.
AD-40: Radwanska overcooks a forehand and Williams lets out a big "come on" -- her first hypothetical one of the match.
40-40: Williams nets a routine backhand. She did not move her feet at all for that shot.
40-30: But right when she needs it, the American hits a massive body serve to force an error and give herself game point.
30-30: Half a dozen double faults from Williams now.
30-15: Huge serve from the world number one when she needs it most.
15-15: Wonderful, aggressive play from Radwanska ends with an inside out forehand winner.
15-0: Williams drives a big crosscourt backhand into the corner to open the game.
Radwanska holds! We are level at 4 in this second set.
40-0: Another big serve from Radwanska gives her three game points.
30-0: Williams just misses the mark with a backhand crosscourt.
15-0: Williams misses a return.
Williams holds with a fifth ace. She leads by a set and 4-3, on serve.
40-15: Williams hits a backhand down the line into the tramlines.
40-0: Radwanska nets a forehand and Williams has three game points just like that.
30-0: Radwanska nets a backhand return.
15-0: Fourth ace of the match from Williams.
Yes, she can! Williams misses a crosscourt forehand and Radwanska holds to restore parity at 3-all.
AD-40: Another great serve from the Pole and she has a fourth game point. Can she convert?
40-40: Williams nets a forehand down the line.
40-AD: Radwanska is unable to find the court with a drop shot and we have a second break point for Williams.
40-40: Another big return winner from the American to push the game to deuce -- her eighth winner off the return.
AD-40: Williams completely shanks a backhand return. Game point number three for Radwanska.
40-40: Great serve out wide from Radwanska to save the break point.
40-AD: Williams hits another forehand return winner to give herself a break point.
40-40: Much better, commanding play from the world number one to put away an easy forehand approach shot down the line.
AD-40: First hot shot of the night! Radwanska hits an UNBELIEVABLE drop shot that Williams can only admire.
40-40: Radwanska nets a relatively routine forehand. She just hesitated when she hit that ball instead of accelerating.
40-30: Radwanska misses a forehand crosscourt.
40-15: Williams nets a return.
30-15: Great wrong-footer from Radwanska to catch Williams off guard.
15-15: Williams ends Radwanska's streak of nine straight points with a big backhand down the line.
15-0: First point of the game goes to the Pole.
Radwanska puts away an emphatic smash near the baseline to get the break back, much to the delight of the crowd. Williams still leads by a set and 3-2.
0-40: More positive play from Radwanska ends with a backhand down the line to give herself three break points.
0-30: Williams nets a forehand. Let's see if Radwanska can take her half-chance here...
0-15: Fifth double fault from the world number one to open the game.
Radwanska holds to win her first game in seven games! Williams leads 3-1.
40-15: Clever play from the Pole ends with Radwanska putting away a smash with great authority. Williams applauds.
30-15: Fourth ace of the match from Radwanska.
15-15: Williams misses a forehand return down the line.
0-15: Radwanska hits a backhand down the line into the tramlines.
Williams holds for 3-0. She is getting ever so closer to her first final in the Californian desert in 15 years.
40-15: Williams just misses the mark with a crosscourt forehand.
40-0: Radwanska misses a backhand down the line.
30-0: Williams runs down a drop shot and puts away the backhand in emphatic fashion. Merciless.
15-0: Third ace of the match from Williams.
WOW! Williams hits four winners in a row to break and go a set and 2-0 to the good.
0-40: No mercy from Williams as she drives a forehand return down the line to give herself three break points.
0-30: Great crosscourt forehand from the world number one to put her up 0-30.
0-15: Big forehand winner from Williams. Radwanska is starting to look frustrated.
Williams holds to begin the set. 1-0.
40-0: Too good from Serena. Again, Radwanska is doing what she can but Williams drives a big inside out forehand into the corner.
30-0: Slider down the T proves to be too much for Radwanska to handle.
15-0: Radwanska nets a forehand to begin the set.
One might feel those four break points that Radwanska failed to convert early on in the set definitely came back to haunt the Pole. It's a long way back from here for the new world number two on Monday.
Williams seals the opening set 6-4 with an emphatic forehand return down the line in 41 minutes.
15-40: Williams nets a forehand approach shot on the first.
0-40: The power of Williams proves to be too much for Radwanska and the American has three set points.
0-30: Williams finally hits a successful drive volley and is now in prime position to take the opening set.
0-15: First point of the all-important tenth game goes to the world number one.
Can Radwanska hold to prolong this set? Or will Williams break again?
Williams holds with an unconventional but functionable volley to lead 5-4 -- the first time she has held a lead in this match.
40-30: Great second serve return from Radwanska forces an error out of Williams.
40-15: Radwanska hits a running forehand down the line into the tramlines.
30-15: Not a bad miss but Radwanska nets a backhand return off a second serve.
15-15: Signature one-two punch from Williams. Much better from the world number one now.
0-15: Williams nets a forehand.
Radwanska overhits a forehand and Williams breaks to restore parity at 4-all!
15-40: Another big return winner and the world number one has two break points. Better footwork from Serena now.
15-30: Great return from Williams and forces an error out of Radwanska.
15-15: Big, emphatic forehand return winner from Serena. That is a clear statement of intent that she wants to turn this around now.
15-0: Third ace of the match from Radwanska to open the game.
Williams holds with another big serve and trails 3-4. Can she break in the next game?
AD-40: Radwanska just nets a backhand pass. Better pressure there from Serena.
40-40: Second ace of the match from the American saves the break point.
40-AD: Good, deep return from the Pole gives her another break point.
40-40: Left-handed forehand from Williams on the stretch but Radwanska puts away the forehand.
40-30: Radwanska goes for a little too much on the backhand down the line and Williams gets to game point.
30-30: Fourth double fault from the world number one.
30-15: Radwanska takes a bad fall as Williams hits a forehand down the line but she's okay.
15-15: THIRD drive volley dumped into the net from Williams.
15-0: Williams' mishit backhand set up a very acute angle which allowed her to put away an easy backhand down the line.
Radwanska holds as Williams overcooks a backhand return. The Pole leads 4-2!
40-30: Better assertiveness from Williams; set up an easy forehand with a big return down the center of the court.
40-15: Williams nets another forehand -- her footwork is still not there as of yet.
30-15: Second ace of the match from Radwanska.
15-15: Better hitting from Williams and Radwanska nets a forehand.
15-0: Great variety from Radwanska and Williams misses a reply after running down a drop shot.
Williams holds but still trails -- Radwanska leads 3-2, first set.
AD-40: Serena is upping her game now; hits an emphatic backhand down the line to get to game point.
40-40: Another unreturnable serve from Williams saves the third break point of the game.
40-AD: Great, deep backhand from Radwanska is followed up with a solid volley at the net.
40-40: Great second serve from Williams forces a backhand error out of Radwanska.
40-AD: Another double fault from the world number one gives the third seed another chance to break once more.
40-40: Williams hits a scorching backhand to save the break point.
40-AD: Williams nets a forehand drive volley to give the Pole a chance to take a double break.
Apologies for the lack of updates in the last few minutes. Yours truly had a few technical difficulties. We are currently tied at deuce in the fifth game.
Williams nets a forehand drive volley and Radwanska holds! The Pole leads 3-1.
40-30: Williams mistimes a forehand return into the body; that is definitely her weaker wing.
30-30: Great cross-court forehand from Radwanska catches Williams off-guard.
15-30: Beautiful inside-out backhand second serve return from Williams.
15-15: Radwanska's defensive backhand drifts just wide.
15-0: Serena tries to take a first serve return well-inside the court but misses the mark.
Williams holds thanks to a very smart forehand cross-court. Radwanska leads, two games to one.
40-30: Big, unreturnable serve from Williams to put her up game point.
30-30: Radwanska just misses a forehand return off the second serve.
15-30: First ace of the match from Williams.
0-30: Second double fault from the world number one. She is rushing, which is very unlike her.
0-15: Williams misses a routine forehand. Radwanska is definitely peppering that side so far tonight.
Radwanska consolidates the break with her first ace! 2-0.
40-15: Williams nets a forehand; her footwork is just not there yet.
30-15: Williams just overcooks another return.
15-15: First double fault from Radwanska.
15-0: Williams misses a forehand return.
Will the Pole consolidate the early break? That will certainly be her biggest problem once she gets the chance to edge her nose in front.
Williams overcooks a backhand and Radwanska breaks to begin the match! 1-0.
30-40: Perfect example of what Radwanska needs to do tonight in that last point; she took a backhand return extremely early and caught Williams off guard.
30-30: Unreturnable serve from Williams to restore parity in this first game.
15-30: Radwanska overcooks a forehand.
0-30: In the first exchange of the match, Williams nets a forehand.
0-15: Double fault to open proceedings from Williams.
Williams won the toss and elected to serve. Kader Nouni will be in the chair for this last four encounter.
The players have entered the court.
Williams and Radwanska have met nine times in the past, with the former holding a commanding 9-0 head-to-head record against the latter. In fact, in those nine meetings, Radwanska has only won one set. Their last meeting coincidentally came less than two months ago at the Australian Open, with Williams powering her way past Radwanska 6-0, 6-4 -- the story of their rival in a nutshell. The world number one’s consistent power and precision have always posed a big threat to the current world number three as she just does not have the firepower or weapons to hurt the American from the back of the court, therefore making life even more difficult for the Pole. However, Radwanska will need to utilize her variety to the best of her abilities to give Williams different looks, and above all, she will need to serve exceptionally well if she is to make any inroads into this match.
For a place in the last four, Radwanska took on eighth seed Petra Kvitova, in a rematch of their clash at the 2015 BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global, where the Pole prevailed in three sets. After easing through the opening set, Radwanska was forced to dig deep, recovering from a 2-5 deficit to send Kvitova packing with an impressive 6-2, 7-5 victory. As a result of this victory, the former Wimbledon finalist will return to her career high ranking of number two in the world, regardless of what happens in her semi final against the world number one.
In the last 16, Radwanska ran into a resurgent Jelena Jankovic, who was coincidentally last year’s runner-up. Having split their last three meetings, it was the Pole who had the last laugh this time around, fending off the Serb in straight sets to book her place in yet another quarter final in 2016.
In the Californian desert, the third seed has definitely not had it her own way. In her opener, Radwanska faced the dangerous Dominika Cibulkova, where she had to battle for nearly three hours before eventually edging out the Slovak 7-5 in the third, saving a match point in the process. In the following round, the Pole met the always-tricky Monica Niculescu, but hit a trio of hot shots en route to an emphatic 6-2, 6-1 victory over the Romanian number three, impressive considering she had struggled mightily in all of their prior meetings.
Agnieszka Radwanska, on the other hand, has not had a bad start to the year herself. Beginning her season in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, Radwanska had little trouble cruising to the title, not dropping a set in the process. From there, the Pole went straight to Melbourne, where she would have another fruitful run to the last four Down Under, eventually falling to Williams in straight sets. After being forced to withdraw from Dubai due to injury, Radwanska made another formidable run to the last four, eventually being completely outclassed by eventual champion Carla Suarez Navarro.
This past Tuesday, Williams was forced to work harder than expected to overcome a few minor frustrations in her fourth round clash with Kateryna Bondarenko, eventually defeating the Ukrainian 6-2, 6-2, in a match that was a lot closer than the score line might suggest. A day later, the world number one faced off against defending champion Simona Halep, in a rematch of what was supposed to be a thrilling clash twelve months ago before Williams withdrew. Knowing the many challenges that Halep presented as an opponent, Williams was keen to get off to a good start, and did so to take a fiercely-contested opening set 6-4. From there, the American claimed the early break before ultimately racing away with the match, ending the world number five's title defense with a 6-4, 6-3 victory in front of a very passionate and endearing crowd.
After a one-month layoff, Williams made a winning return to action against German qualifier Laura Siegemund, whom she easily dispatched in just over an hour on court. In the following round, the 34-year-old faced her first real test of the tournament against the feisty Yulia Putintseva. In their only prior meeting, the Kazakh pushed the world number one to the limit in a high quality opening set only to lose it in a tiebreak, before Williams ran away with the match in the second. This time around, it was a similar story as the world number one came from a break down on multiple occasions to win the first set in a tiebreak, before shifting to a new gear and defeating the WTA Rising Star 7-6(2), 6-0.
It has been a wondrous road to the last eight for world number one Serena Williams, though she did not have everything her way. Twelve months on from her emotional return to Indian Wells, Williams was looking to redeem herself after withdrawing from her semi final against Simona Halep due to an ongoing knee injury, unfortunately ending her fairytale return to the Californian desert. However, the world number one is now back and has made an impressive rebound a month and a half after a shock defeat at the hands of Angelique Kerber at the Australian Open.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the quarterfinal clash between Serena Williams and Agnieszka Radwanska at the 2016 BNP Paribas Open! My name is Max Gao and I am pleased to be be bringing you point-by-point updates and taking you through this enticing clash here on VAVEL -- one of the fastest-growing sports newspapers in the world. From now until the match, which is scheduled to be played at 7 PM PST or 10 PM EST, news, updates and match notes will be posted to get you up to speed.