Indian Wells round of 16 action continues Tuesday in the California desert as the field competes for coveted quarterfinal spots at the BNP Paribas Open. Scroll down for the rundown on all the WTA singles action from across the grounds…
If you thought Petra Kvitova‘s third-round victory over Jelena Ostapenko, which saw the Czech lose a 6-0 opening set and win a 6-0 second set before coming through in three, was a wild ride, then you won’t believe what the Czech legend did against Jessica Pegula on Tuesday.
It was one of those classic tiebreaks that happen once in a blue moon, the kind that you never forget.
And it was Kvitova coming through again, saving four match points to win 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(11).
“I play for these emotions,” said a triumphant Kvitova after locking down the dramatic win. “Up and down all the match, it was a disaster at some point and I was just making winners. Oh my god, I don’t know how many match points I was saving.”
The two-time Wimbledon champion saved a match point with Pegula serving at 5-4, 40-30, then worked her way to a third-set tiebreak, where she saved three more, at 6-5, 8-7 and 11-10, before converting her fourth match point to close out the two hour and 14-minute roller coaster ride with the top-ranked American.
“I don’t know how I did it guys,” she told the partisan American crowd. “I know you were cheering for Jess, so I’m really sorry – but I tried my best.”
Kvitova advances to face 2022 BNP Paribas runner-up Maria Sakkari in quarterfinal action.
Was it one of the most incredible matches that Kvitova has played?
She gave it her nod of approval.
“I think so,” she said “Up and down, four match points saved. Definitely it’s one of the best matches I’ve played. Even tennis-wise I think it was a great match.”
Down a break in the final set, Coco Gauff could have easily started believing that Tuesday was not meant to be her day at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden. Instead she did the opposite and – true to form – dug deep to grind out a three-set victory over Swedish qualifier Rebecca Peterson, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4.
Never give up 💯#TennisParadise | @CocoGauff pic.twitter.com/xvtaYoyhKw
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 14, 2023
Four years ago, when Gauff was a wee 14-year-old, Peterson pounded her into submission at a challenger event in Midland, Michigan.
Tuesday Gauff turned the tables, earning a victory with her trademark staying power and resilience to book her first quarterfinal at Indian Wells.
Gauff was cool as the other side of the pillow in the final set, rallying from 4-2 down. She even saved a trio of break points while serving at 4-4 before closing out the contest in two hours and 17 minutes in the next game.
“I played her in one of my first pro tournaments, like four years ago, and she whooped me really bad,” Gauff told the crowd. “I think today was really a mental thing – just staying in the match. I wasn’t playing my best in some moments and I wasn’t serving as well as I’d like to but I think that my mentality kept me in today.”
The 19-year-old American will face either Aryna Sabalenka or Barbora Krejcikova in the last eight. She improves to 14-3 on the season and 5-2 overall in the California desert.
Another day, another flawless performance for World No.1 Iga Swiatek. The defending champion notched her ninth straight BNP Paribas Open victory in decisive fashion, defeating 2021 US Open champion Emma Raducanu 6-3, 6-1.
Swiatek got the job done in a cool 84 minutes, breaking open a relatively tight first set and rolling through 10 of the final 12 games to book a quarterfinal clash with Romania’s Sorana Cirstea.