Top seed Karolina Pliskova on Monday crashed out of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California, losing in straight sets to unseeded Beatriz Haddad Maia 6-3, 7-5 in a third-round match.
Playing in windy conditions on an outer court, Brazil’s Haddad Maia jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the second set before the Czech picked up her game.
Haddad Maia fought back, clinching the match on her second set point when Pliskova flubbed a backhand off the top of her racquet, sending the ball skyward to end a contest that took more than two hours to complete.
World No. 3 Pliskova hammered five aces, but had 12 double faults. She won just 25 percent of her second serve points and had her serve broken eight times.
Lucky loser Haddad Maia moves on to face Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit in the round of 16.
The red-hot Kontaveit continued her fine run of form by ousting defending champion Bianca Andreescu 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 in the third round.
“I been feeling really well on the court,” said the 25-year-old Kontaveit. “I have a lot of confidence. I am happy and have been able to enjoy myself out there. That’s a big part of why I have been playing so well lately.”
This was the first loss for Andreescu at Indian Wells. Two years ago, she became the first wild card to win the women’s title.
“I didn’t play my best and I didn’t feel my best,” Andreescu said. “I don’t think she played her best tennis either, but she was the better player today.”
In women’s doubles on Monday, the pairing of Taiwan’s Hsieh Su-wei and Belgium’s Elise Mertens edged past the duo Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the US and Iga Swiatek of Poland 1-6, 6-4, 10-8 in the round of 16.
Today, Hsieh and Mertens face the pairing of the US’ Coco Gauff and Canada’s Leylah Fernandez in the quarter-finals.
The tournament, which features both men’s and women’s fields, is normally held in March, but returned to the California desert this fall after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus due to COVID-19.
Additional reporting staff writer
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