Vondrousova upsets Halep to reach Indian Wells quarters

Published by Tennismash

Marketa Vondrousova in action at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells (Getty Images)
Marketa Vondrousova scores her first top-10 win over second seed Simona Halep to join fellow teenager Bianca Andreescu and two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza in the Indian Wells quarterfinals.

Marketa Vondrousova became the second teenager through to the WTA quarterfinals at Indian Wells after a surprising three-set win over Simona Halep.

Vondrousova, 19, beat the error-prone second seed – who managed just six winners while spraying 36 errors – 6-2 3-6 6-2 to score her first won over a top-10 opponent.

She progresses to a quarterfinal meeting against No.6 seed Elina Svitolina, who outlasted 12th seed Ash Barty in the longest match of the WTA season.

Vondrousova joins fellow teenager Bianca Andreescu in the last eight; the 18-year-old Canadian wildcard beat China’s Wang Qiang in straight sets to continue her magnificent start to 2019.

Andreescu, now a stunning 25-3 this season, will face two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza for a place in the semifinals.

Muguruza, seeded 20th, recovered to beat No.7 seed Kiki Bertens 5-7 6-1 6-4.

“Now I have more chances to face top and top opponents. That’s what I’m looking for,” Muguruza said after getting past an ill Serena Williams in the previous round.

“And I’m happy about the level I played (today against Bertens), and also how I managed the intensity of the game and not let drop, basically, nothing during the whole match.”

Later on Tuesday, Belinda Bencic extended her winning streak to 11 with a stunning rout of world No.1 Naomi Osaka.

The recent Dubai champion needed just 66 minutes to end Osaka’s title defence with a 6-3 6-1 win.

“I think I played a pretty great match. Obviously that’s what you have to do against such a champion such as Naomi,” Bencic said. “Definitely I had to be on my best, and I’m really lucky I was today.”

Also advancing to the quarterfinals was Venus Williams, who reached this stage of the tournament for a third year running thanks to a 6-4 6-4 triumph over Mona Barthel.

Joining them in the last eight was fifth seed Karolina Pliskova, who eventually got on top of 21st seed Anett Kontaveit 7-6(0) 4-6 6-2. She next faces Bencic.

But back to Vondrousova.

The talented left-hander from the Czech Republic has yet to be able to built true momentum on tour due to a succession of injuries.

After reaching the fourth round of last year’s US Open, she suffered a groin injury which prematurely ended her 2018 season.

FEATURE: depth of women’s game reflected in rankings

Indian Wells is just her third event of 2019, with a knee injury disrupting the start of her season.

Prior to her breakthrough on the WTA tour in 2017, when she won the title in Biel when ranked outside the top 200, Vondrousova also suffered from ongoing elbow and other arm-related issues.

“I think my fighting, because it was a very tough match,” Vondrousova said when asked what she was most happy with throughout the one-hour, 39-minute encounter against Halep. “I was running a lot; I felt like I was dying for a moment (laughter). But keep fighting every point.

“It an amazing week for me. I’m just so happy to be through, and so happy with my play.”

More to follow …

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