Indian Wells Masters: A bad tourney so far for top seeds. With Emma Raducanu out and now for upsets to follow. Major upset was No. 1 seed Karolina Pliskova losing in straight-sets against the Bralizian Haddad Maia. Ostapenko strikes the Polish sensation Swiatek in half to take an easy win. USA’s Pegula beats Elina Svitolina with comprehensive scores.
Maia topples top seeded Pliskova
Having a sluggish day, Karolina Pliskova committed around 12 double faults gifting points to the opposition. Serving omitting the double faults was above the mark for Pliskova.
The Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia conquered the top-seeded Czech Republic opponent with a straight-set result 6-3, 7-5. Serving equally good as Pliskova while reducing error rate as well.
Winning the first set with a comfortable margin, Karolina fought hard to stretch the match to the decider. However, Maia wanted the match result paddling hard to reach the finish line.
Maia broke Pliskova’s serve eight times out of 14 times she got the chance. While getting an equal chance to break for former World No. 1, Karolina Pliskova was unable to convert even the half.
World No.115 Haddad Maia had lost to Usue Maitane Arconada in the final round of qualifying, but the Brazilian got a second chance after the withdrawal of No.29 seed Nadia Podoroska due to a thigh injury.
After inheriting Podoroska’s first-round bye and dispatching Mayar Sherif in the second round, Haddad Maia is into the round of 16 at a WTA 1000 event for the first time after her 2-hour and 4-minute win over World No.3 Pliskova.
“I’m very happy with my win and my work today. It was very tough conditions for both of us. It was very windy. I didn’t serve that well but I was returning well. I was doing my best.
“I think the key was my resilience in my mental game. Now I’m proud of myself, of my work, and I’m going to prepare and get ready for tomorrow against Kontaveit. I think I didn’t play her in the pro tour. It’s going to be a nice game. She’s a good player and I will do my best and I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, try to be aggressive and prepare for tomorrow. Let’s work hard tomorrow and create opportunities during the match.”
Indian Wells Masters: Ostapenko knocks out No 2 seed Iga Swiatek.
In a fourth-round meeting between two previous French Open champions, No.24 seed Ostapenko came from a break down in each set to secure a 6-4, 6-3 victory to advance to the quarterfinals.
“I knew it was going to be a very tough match because she’s such a great player, she won a Grand Slam and she’s playing great tennis,” Ostapenko said on-court after the match.
“I really came with a strong mentality to this match. I knew I had to fight for every point, be aggressive and I think I did that pretty well today.”
Ostapenko was Ultra-aggressive and excelled in comparatively calmer conditions than blustery ones that defined Monday’s play: she hit 25 winners and only 21 unforced errors in 93 minutes while breaking Swiatek four times, and serving a lone double fault.
“I think I played very well. I didn’t give her any chances to play, because I think I was playing very aggressively and took the time away from her so she couldn’t do much against me,” Ostapenko later told reporters. “That was just the plan for the game, just to play my game and be aggressive, and I think I did it pretty well today.”
Ostapenko with this win also improved her head-to-head record against Swiatek to 2-0 with the victory, adding to a prior 6-0, 6-2 win on grass in Birmingham in 2019.
Fans arrived at Stadium 3 expecting a more competitive outcome this around because of Swiatek now a major-winner at ranking. They got exactly that although the winner was the same as 2019.
The Latvian trailed 4-3 in the first set and 3-1 in the second set but ended each on a string of consecutive games to book a place in her fourth quarterfinal of the year.
“I just knew that I have a good return and was playing well in deciding moments,” Ostapenko said of her ability to turn around each set. “I just tried to serve better because it was a little bit windy and cooler today, so different conditions to my last match [on Sunday], and I needed some time to adjust.”
Indian Wells Masters: Elina Svitolina faces a disappointing loss.
This is the year of new faces and Jessica Pegula, just like Emma Raducanu’s fairy tale US Open 2021 run, is into the quarterfinals who only had her third main-draw appearance at BNP Paribas Open.
The No.19 seeded American cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 win over No.4 seed Elina Svitolina in the fourth round, becoming the first player through to the last eight on a day where all eight fourth-round matches were on the schedule.
Only taking 68 minutes for a spectacular victory, Pegula booked a spot in her seventh quarterfinals of the season and fourth at WTA 1000 level. She was impressive with serving 70% on her first serve while hitting 19 winners and 14 unforced errors and all of this without facing a breakpoint.
Elina Svitolina found herself in an unusual territory racked up 27 unforced errors to 18 winners while receiving a medical timeout for an apparent upper right leg issue in between sets. She had to face 14 breakpoints and was broken in five of them.
Pegula: “I think I played really solid with not a lot of errors, was getting a lot of really good depth on my balls, was coming in when I needed to, serving well when I needed to. It was a great day,” Pegula said on-court after the match.
“I think I’ve just been making a lot of really good decisions in the right moments. That obviously comes with playing a lot of matches, winning, and getting confidence… it’s just been more belief that I can play at this level. I think this year, I realized that, and I’ve been having good results.”