Indian Wells: Kontaveit ends Andreescu’s title defence, Medvedev moves on

  • Matt Trollope

Anett Kontaveit continued her dazzling form to hand defending champion Bianca Andreescu her first ever loss at Indian Wells. 

Kontaveit rebounded from 3-1 down in the second set to post a 7-6(5) 6-3 triumph, her 15th win from her past 16 matches and a result sending her through to the fourth round.

There she will face Brazilian lucky loser Beatriz Haddad Maia, who stunned No.1 seed Karolina Pliskova in straight sets. 

Also advancing was three-time major champion Angelique Kerber, third seed Barbora Krejcikova and 21st seed Paula Badosa, who brushed aside an error-prone Coco Gauff for the loss of only four games.

In the men’s draw, US Open champion Daniil Medvedev survived a second-set wobble to beat Filip Krajinovic 6-2 7-6(1).

Medvedev will next play 23rd seed Grigor Dimitrov, who reached the fourth round for the first time in eight visits to Indian Wells after beating Reilly Opelka in straight sets, while joining them on the winner’s list were in-form sixth seed Casper Ruud and 11th seed Diego Schwartzman, who won the final 10 games from 7-5 4-2 down to defeat Brit Dan Evans. 

In late-night results on Monday, American Tommy Paul stunned fourth seed Andrey Rublev in three sets before Cameron Norrie stopped Roberto Bautista Agut, also in three sets.

Paul and Norrie will play for a place in the quarterfinals. 

Kontaveit masters Andreescu again

Monday’s win marked Konatveit’s third win over Andreescu in three career meetings, and continued a disappointing season for the Canadian. 

Since reaching the Miami Open final in March, Andreescu’s win-loss record is 8-9 and she has slipped out of the world’s top 20.

She was 8-0 at Indian Wells before her loss to Kontaveit, who is now on an eight-match winning streak.

The Estonian, who recently won WTA titles in Cleveland and Ostrava, pounded 15 forehand winners to Andreescu’s eight while committing nine less unforced errors throughout the match.

"I think you can never get tired of winning," laughed Kontaveit, who has won 16 consecutive sets.

"I've been feeling really well on court, and I think the confidence from the previous matches also helps. 

"I've just been very happy that I've been able to enjoy myself out there ... I think that's a big part of why I've been playing so well recently."

Kerber is another player in excellent form, with the German having now won 19 of her last 23 matches thanks to her three-set win over Daria Kasatkina.

Kerber, who fell in the 2019 Indian Wells final to Andreescu, beat Kasatkina 6-2 1-6 6-4 to return to the last 16, where she will face impressive Australian Ajla Tomljanovic, a 6-4 6-3 victor over Roland Garros semifinalist Tamara Zidansek

"I think you can never get tired of winning."
Anett Kontaveit

Yet Pliskova’s form -- she had won 20 of her last 25 matches -- counted for little when she faced Haddad Maia, with the Czech bundled out of the tournament 6-3 7-5. 

Pliskova broke the world No.115 when she served for the match, but Haddad Maia struck back two games later to earn the biggest victory of her career. 

In another result, Ons Jabeur played an impressively clean match to dismiss Danielle Collins in straight sets and will next face Russian qualifier Anna Kalinskaya, who overcame Viktorija Golubic 1-6 6-1 6-3. 

On Monday evening, Krejcikova dismantled Amanda Anisimova 6-2 6-3 to set up a meeting with Badosa, who conceded just seven unforced errors to Gauff's 28 in a comfortable 6-2 6-2 win.

Both players are enjoying brilliant seasons; Roland Garros champion Krejcikova is 30-4 since late May while Badosa, who was outside the top 70 in early April, is now ranked 27th. 

Medvedev, Dimitrov, Ruud advance

Former world No.3 Dimitrov, now ranked 28th, scored an impressive 6-3 6-4 win over local star Reilly Opelka to move through to the fourth round, where he will attempt to snap a three-match losing streak against Medvedev.

Medvedev trailed Krajinovic 4-2 in the second set before dominating the ensuing tiebreak, improving his winning streak to nine matches.

Dimitrov has enjoyed a resurgence in the United States, winning five of his last six matches after advancing to the semifinals in his previous tournament in San Diego.

The man who stopped him there, Ruud, continued his stellar form with a 6-7(4) 6-4 6-4 triumph over South Africa’s Lloyd Harris. 

Ruud has won an ATP Tour-high five titles in 2021 and will take a six-match winning streak into his fourth-round clash with Schwartzman. 

In other results, 19th seed Aslan Karatsev was too steady for ninth seed Denis Shapovalov, with his 7-5 6-2 win over the Canadin keeping him in contention for qualification at next months' ATP Finals in Turin. 

A breakthrough star in 2021 thanks to his Australian Open semifinal run, Karatsev will next face No.8 seed Hubert Hurkacz, who saw off Frances Tiafoe 6-3 6-2. 

Karatsev beat Hurkacz in three sets just 12 days ago in the second round of San Diego.