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Round of 16 Awards: Auger-Aliassime And Kvitova Win Instant Classics
4 Min Read · March 15, 2023

With Round of 16 BNP Paribas Open action complete and the quarterfinals set, we took a look back at some of the standout performances from Tuesday. Check em out! ⬇️

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ATP Best Match

🏅 [8] Felix Auger-Aliassime d. [17] Tommy Paul 6-3, 3-6, 7-6(6)

The grounds at the BNP Paribas Open were still reeling from the shock of watching Petra Kvitova save four match points to win an absolute epic on Stadium 1 (more on that below the jump) when … it happened AGAIN.

Out on Stadium 2 on Tuesday night, the last match of the evening went from a spark to a three-alarm blaze in the third set, keeping fans enthralled until the midnight hour as Felix Auger-Aliassime earned an improbable three-set victory that saw him save six set points in the final set against Tommy Paul.

Auger-Aliassime was dead in the water several times in the match, but always managed to stay afloat as he trudged on and created one of the most magical victories of his career. The 22-year-old Canadian rallied from 3-0 in the final set, saved three match points while serving at 5-6, 0-40, then reeled off the final five points of the match as he saved three more match points, starting at 6-3 down in the final set tiebreak.

Talk about giving the die-hards something to remember as they leave the grounds.

WTA Best Match

🏅 [15] Petra Kvitova d. [3] Jessica Pegula 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(11)

Stadium 1 was the scene for an absolute epic on Tuesday, as Petra Kvitova and Jessica Pegula traded blows – and match points – in a tension-filled battle that will go down as an instant classic on the strength of its third-set tiebreak alone.

Kvitova, who had saved a match point with Pegula serving at 5-4, 40-30 in the final set, saved another three during the roller coaster tiebreak. But it wasn’t just Kvitova providing the drama. Pegula ran the baseline like a speed demon, frantically chasing down the Czech’s thunderous blows, and saved three match points of her own before finally yielding on the 24th point of the tiebreak as the Czech swooped in and knocked a magnificent volley winner to lock down the win.

Extra points to Kvitova for the post-match racquet toss. Her Wilson went high into the air and by the time it hit the court she was facing her team with her arms in the air, celebrating with gusto after a win well-earned.

Most Dominant Performance

🏅 [4] Taylor Fritz d. Marton Fucsovics 6-4 6-3

The defending champion continues to saunter deeper into the draw at Indian Wells, and Hungary’s Marton Fucsovics did very little to keep the in-form American from making his way into the quarterfinals as he increased his Indian Wells winning streak to nine matches.

Fritz, who cracked 21 winners against 15 unforced errors, has now won 13 of his last matches at the BNP Paribas Open. He says his comfort level at the venue is contributing to his scorching form.

“I think for sure once you get a couple matches in a row, for me it just does feel like more comfortable,” he said. “I feel more confident. I feel like I can play better each match. I think it’s just getting better and better for me each match for sure just building the confidence.”

Rollercoaster Award

🏅 Coco Gauff [3] d. Rebecca Peterson – 6-3, 1-6, 6-4

You could feel the anxiety in Stadium 2. Coco Gauff, 19-year-old wunderkind, under duress against Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson after breezing through the opening set. Suddenly she was down 3-1 in the third. Then 4-2. Finally, the American dug in and let her legs do talking, reeling off the final four games to book her spot in the quarterfinals for the first time. Close call. Nice recovery. And the kid stays in the picture.

Best Hot Shot

🏅Daniil Medvedev with the spectacular smash

Not only did Daniil Medvedev win the longest match of the tournament, playing half of it with a badly injured ankle, he also did this!

Originality Award

🏅 Frances Tiafoe 

What the heck do you even call this shot? Never a dull moment with Frances Tiafoe.

Quote of the Day

🏅 Coco Gauff 

Coco Gauff isn’t just a wildly talented tennis player, she’s also wise beyond her years, intellectually curious, and interested in making the world a better place. American tennis fans should consider themselves blessed. Here’s what Gauff said today when asked to give some thoughts about the legendary pioneer Arthur Ashe.

“I know a great deal about him. I think he’s definitely not just a pioneer of the sport but a pioneer of just the culture in general in doing what he’s done and the way he handled himself, something that I look up to a lot.

“Super grateful not only just to kind of play and be in the position where I am but just be able to play at US Open on Ashe Stadium. You know, I never got the opportunity to meet him, but I just, I don’t know, I respect a great deal of him and his legacy. I know I am a product of that. Yeah, that’s what I’m forever grateful for.”

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