Petra Kvitova was always going to see her unbeaten run come to an end at some stage.
But who would have thought it would be a 16-year-old wildcard who would be responsible for snapping her streak?
American Amanda Anisimova needed just 69 minutes to hand Kvitova her first defeat in 15 matches, winning 6-2 6-4 to reach the fourth round at Indian Wells.
Anisimova, the reigning US Open junior champion, becomes the youngest player in 13 years to reach the last 16 in the Californian desert.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) March 11, 2018
It was quite the day for youngsters at Indian Wells – 18-year-old Marketa Vondrousova thrashed fellow teen Aryna Sabalenka 6-2 6-2 in exactly one hour to join Anisimova in the fourth round.
“This feels crazy, I’m shaking,” said Anisimova, who next faces No.5 seed Karolina Pliskova, who needed three sets to beat China’s Zhang Shuai.
“This is the biggest stage I’ve ever played on. Petra’s a great player. I just tried to stay focused, conquer my nerves and play my best.
“I was nervous trying to serve out, I had not been serving that well in the second set. But I settled down and began to play like I did in the first set.”
Kvitova came into the match having survived a mammoth second-round battle with Yulia Putintseva, during which she recovered from 2-4 in the third set to win in three hours and 17 minutes.
Prior to Indian Wells she’d won titles in Saint Petersburg and Doha as well as two matches in Fed Cup.
But Anisimova had built up some momentum of her own, ousting Pauline Parmentier in the first round before upsetting 23rd seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in round two; both wins came in straight sets.
The teenager, who played just two junior events in 2017 as she transitioned to the pro circuit, has already cracked the world’s top 150.
Last week she advanced to the semifinals of the WTA 125K event at the same venue at Indian Wells and in the past 12 months has reached three ITF finals – all at $60,000 level or higher – to slash her ranking from No.717 to No.149.
She peaked at No.2 in the junior rankings after reaching the girls’ singles final at Roland Garros in 2016.
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