Monday, October 11, 2021 - Anett Kontaveit celebrates after defeating Bianca Andreescu on day 8 of the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California. (Michael Cummo/BNP Paribas Open)
Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit brought Canadian Bianca Andreescu’s reign to an end on a breezy Monday afternoon at the BNP Paribas Open, upending the defending champion, 7-6(5), 6-3, in one hour and 49 minutes.
It marked Andreescu’s first loss in nine matches at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Kontaveit improved to 3-0 against Andreescu, and extended her winning streak to eight straight matches. She is back into the Round of 16 here for the second consecutive edition of tournament.
“It was extremely close throughout the match,” said Kontaveit, who earlier this year won titles in Cleveland and Ostrava. “I was just trying to stay tough. I was ready for a tough match. She’s such a good player, such a great competitor, so I knew it wasn’t going to be over until it was really over.”
Kontaveit fell behind 2-0 in the opening set before reeling off four straight games to assume the lead. Andreescu, however, would save three set points to force a tiebreak. Once there, Kontaveit would get two more, finally making good on the latter.
Both players did their best to navigate the blustery conditions, but Kontaveit seemed to manage the conditions better in the end. She broke for 5-3 in the second set, then stepped up to serve out the match.
“I’ve really been enjoying competitive matches — I think that’s been the key,” said the 18th seed.
After storming to titles at Indian Wells and the US Open two year ago, Andreescu injured her left knee in her WTA Finals debut, a setback that would cost her the entire 2020 campaign. There have been foot woes and an abdominal strain since, not to mention a positive COVID-19 test.
Next up for Kontaveit is lucky loser Beatriz Haddad Maia, who is making the most of her opportunity in the California desert. The Brazilian scored the biggest upset of the tournament on Monday, stunning top seed Karolina Pliskova of the Czech Republic, 6-3, 7-5, in Stadium 3.
No. 15 seed Coco Gauff of the U.S. was dismissed by 21st seed Paula Badosa of Spain, 6-2, 6-2.
“I know she’s an amazing player. She’s going to be even better,” said Badosa. “I know she has an amazing serve. I knew I had to be pretty solid on mine, as well. An amazing backhand. She’s very athletic, so I was expecting a tough match.”
No. 10 seed Angelique Kerber of Germany avenged her loss to 20th seed Daria Kasatkina of Russia in the 2018 BNP Paribas Open quarterfinals, pulling through in three sets, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4, to reach the Round of 16.
Elsewhere, Russia’s Anna Kalinskaya outlasted Viktorija Golubic, 1-6, 6-1, 6-3, in one hour and 52 minutes.