Vesnina Upsets Kerber; Venus, Wozniacki Advance

Caroline Wozniacki beat American Madison Keys to reach the BNP Paribas Open quarterfinals on Tuesday.
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Russia’s Elena Vesnina upset second-seed Angelique Kerber on Tuesday, ousting the German with a 6-3 6-3 victory to reach the BNP Paribas Open quarterfinals in Indian Wells, California.

“I think I played a really good match,” Vesnina said afterwards. “I’m just really happy that I closed it out because this win means a lot to me.”

Vesnina was sharp from the start, and in total fired 28 winners. She broke Kerber’s serve five times while saving six break points of her own to push through in one hour and 24 minutes.

Kerber trimmed the second set deficit from 1-4 to 3-4, but Vesnina held off a potential comeback to win the final two games and advance.

She will take on 12th seeded American Venus Williams next. Venus outlasted Peng Shuai 3-6, 6-1, 6-3 to move on, converting on both of her break points in the deciding set.

“There were some up-and-downs and errors. It was so frustrating,” said Venus afterwards. “But I feel like I got my focus more in that second set and towards the end of the third, because—I don’t know. I’m just a competitor. So if things get closer, then I think my better tennis is going to come.”

Caroline Wozniacki needed just one hour and 32 minutes to move past ninth-seeded American Madison Keys 6-4, 6-4 and reach the quarterfinals.

“It’s always tough to play her, she has so much power and she can play some incredible shots from far behind the baseline and outside,” the 2011 champion Wozniacki said. “You just have to be ready for it and I was happy with how I managed to return quite a few serves back, get those extra balls back, and I think it frustrated her a little bit.”

Keys was playing in her first tournament of the year after recovering from wrist surgery, while Wozniacki has played extremely well in 2017, and she hopes that will continue when she squares off against 28th seed Kristina Mladenovic of France in the final eight.

Mladenovic defeated American Lauren Davis 6-3, 6-3 on Tuesday.

Russia’s Anastasia Pavyluchenkova upset fifth-seed Dominika Cibulkova to reach the quarterfinals, outlasting the Slovakian 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 to reach the last eight in Indian Wells for the first time since 2009.

She will take on fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova next. The eighth-seed cruised past Carolina Garcia 6-1, 6-4 in her fourth-round contest.

The other quarterfinal matchup will see third-seed Karolina Pliskova take on seventh-seed Garbine Muguruza. Pliskova held a 5-1 advantage over Timea Bacsinszky before the Swiss was forced to retire, while Muguruza played a lights out third set to hold off 10th seed Elina Svitolina 7-6(5), 1-6, 6-0 on Tuesday.