Former world No. 1 Victoria Azarenka stormed past American Jessica Pegula 6-4, 6-2 to become the first semi-finalist at Indian Wells.

Azarenka, who has won the event twice before in 2012 and 2016, took 94 minutes to end Pegula’s run, winning 81 per cent of first service points and hitting 21 winners to 18 unforced errors in the match.

Pegula hit 27 winners but had 30 unforced errors, a number that would eventually see her downfall.

“I thought it was a really good match,” Azarenka said.

“Very high quality from both players. Very consistent in terms of level for me. I felt that I really played well in the crucial moments. I felt like I stepped up a lot to the occasion. That’s what I’m really happy with today.

“I started going for my shots from the beginning. I knew I have to apply pressure on her, and I will have the moment where I will have opportunity.

“I think in the beginning of the match we had a lot of great rallies, a lot of points where I was like, ‘Oh, maybe I got this one,’ and she got me. I felt that I really just stuck to being aggressive and being consistent. I got my opportunities.”