Tuesday's action in Indian Wells Tennis Garden emerge the quarterfinals line-up of BNP Paribas Open 2023. The match-ups which were exciting even on paper before the start, delivered a ton of emotions, with multiple thrilling three-setters.
Aryna Sabalenka took the revenge on Barbora Krejcikova, for the defeat faced in QFs of first WTA 1000 tournament of 2023 played in Dubai. The Australian Open champion was a pre-match favorite, but the Czech is one of the most in-form players in this season so far and the match was foreshadowing some good quality of tennis and emotions. Sabalenka started from the front foot, achieving two breaks in first set and clinching it after 5 set points with a score 6-3. Krejcikova fought back with a stunning performance in second set, forcing a decider. Third set brought another momentum switch, as Sabalenka was putting more pressure on her opponent again, achieving the break in 3rd game and having a chance to extend the advantage in 7th game, but not converting any of 5 breakpoints there. Krejcikova had a chance to comeback, having a breakpoint in 10th game while the world's number 2 was serving for the match, but Sabalenka cleared out the danger and served out the win 6-3 2-6 6-4.
Sabalenka will face Cori Gauff in the QFs. The American was unexpectedly struggling in a match against Rebecca Peterson. Gauff started really slowly, facing 3 breakpoints in opening game and conceding a break in the following service game. The world's number 6 managed to raise up the level later, won 4 games in a row and clinched first set by 6-4. Second set was a shocking breakdown of play from Gauff. Peterson won 5 games in a row in really convincing manner and forced the decider with a score 6-1. The world's number 103 was still on fire, gaining an early break in 3rd set and leading 3-1. While the big upset was in the air, the 18 years-old American regrouped herself and denied the defeat, winning 4 games in a row same as in first set. The Swede had a chance to stop this comeback, but did not convert any of 3 breakpoints in 9th game, which could tip the scales in her favour.
Petra Kvitova eliminated Jessica Pegula after stunning end up of three-setter, which was settled in tie-break, won by the Czech with a score 13-11. First two sets were quite quick, as Kvitova opened the match with 6-2 set win in just 28 minutes. Pegula who was a pre-match favorite, forced the decider by winning second set 6-3. Third set was a truly rollercoaster. The top ranked American was up a break twice, having a chance to close out the match within her serve in 10th game. Pegula was up 5-4 and 40-30, having the matchpoint, but Kvitova saved it, leveling the score. Pegula regained the break advantage for the third time, but did not manage to close the match again and the tie-break was needed for settlement. It was a really tight, long and intense battle. First 18 games brough just one mini-break for both sides. Both Kvitova and Pegula had 3 matchpoint chances in this tie-break. The most serious chance came for the American again, as she was serving with a score 11-10 on the board. Pegula lost two service points in a row, giving a big chance for her opponent who turned out to be better in this battles of nerves, winning 6-2 3-6 7-6(11) at the end.
Maria Sakkari will be Kvitova's opponent in quarters. Sakkari was rated quite lower than her another Czech rival Karolina Pliskova, but managed to achieve an impressive 6-4 5-7 6-3 win after 2:43 hours of battle. Pliskova was in a good position from the start of decider, as she made one of the biggest holds of the season, securing her first service game after 11 (!) deuces, clearing the 10 breakpoints (!) produced by Sakkari. The Czech followed the blow and gained a break in following game. The Greek regrouped herself really well after disappointing start of 3rd set and turned this match over on her favour, winning all of Pliskova's service games till the end of match.
Iga Swiatek did not gave too much chances for Emma Raducanu in the top-stars clash played in the evening session. The WTA ranking's leader and current title holder played some tight games with Raducanu just after the start. The US Open 2021 champion had two breakpoint chances in 3rd game, but did not convert any of them and there were the last signs of emotions in this match, as Swiatek dominated her opponent since then and won the whole match 6-3 6-1 in under the 1,5 hours.
The Pole will play against Sorana Cirstea in QFs. The unseeded Romanian made quite an upset, defeating Caroline Garcia 6-4 4-6 7-5. Cirstea was leading 4-0 in last set, but the world's number 5 made a comeback, leveling the score. The Romanian did not missed her chance though, as she gained the break advantage again in 11th game and achieved one of her best wins in career so far.
Elena Rybakina will face Karolina Muchova in another quaterfinals pairing. The Kazakh earned her QFs place after comprehensive performance against Varvara Gracheva. Recent Australian Open finalist gave away just 3 games, winning 6-3 6-0 with her lower ranked opponent. Muchova played another exciting three-setter of this day against her fellowcountry Marketa Vondrousova. Muchova was leading with a set and break advantage, serving for the match in 10th game of second set. Vondrousova defended the matchpoint and leveled the score. Muchova had another matchpoint in 12th of second set, but Vondrousova defended breakpoint and forced the tiebreak, winning it comfortably 7-2. Muchova was struggling to seal the victory again in third set, while losing the break advantage twice. She managed to gain decisive break in 9th game and crossed the finish line with a score 6-4 6-7(2) 6-4. It's the biggest achievement of Muchova, who came back after long injury. The Czech will gain at least 21 places after her Indian Wells run, being no lower than 55th in the ranking published after BNP Paribas Open tournament.