Russia's Elena Vesnina ousted German second seed Angelique Kerber 6-3 6-3 to reach the quarter-finals of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, California on Tuesday.
Angelique Kerber will return to the top of the world rankings next week despite being bundled out of the WTA tournament in Indian Wells. Venus Williams beat Lucie Safarova 6/4 6/2 to win her second match in Indian Wells since 2001, she will play her next match against Shuai Peng, who upset Agnieszka Radwanska, who keeps having ups and downs without finding her best tennis 6/4 6/4.
Kerber, victor of the Australian and US Opens a year ago, had struggled past 62nd-ranked Pauline Parmentier in the previous round and said she never found her rhythm against Vesnina.
"I know when she's down in the score, she's going for the shots".
She said on her courtside interview shown on BT Sport 1: "I played a really good match, she is an incredible player, such a tough competitor".
Continuing to attack her shots with objective, the world No. 62 broke to start the second set then broke again at 15 extending the lead to 3-0.
After the Hungarian managed to consolidate the break with a tough hold of serve, Vesnina finally got onto the scoreboard in the second set as she had a nervy service hold, lessening the deficit to just two games.
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"I was starting to believe in myself again and trying to take this challenge and trying to play point by point and not think what has happened before", Kerber said.
Kerber sealed it on her third match point - but not before Parmentier had one last chance to break in the final game.
While Petkovic said their long association had her anticipating perhaps too much, Kerber said she tried to stay in the moment.
Thiem next faces 10th-seeded Gael Monfils, who dispatched American John Isner 6-2, 6-4 in just 68 minutes. But obviously I don't want things to get close.
"I'm not very powerful but I have a little bit the technique and the angles".
Next up for Pliskova is reigning French Open champion Garbine Muguruza, who snapped Elina Svitolina's 15-match winning streak with a 7-6 (7-5) 1-6 6-0 triumph.
Finally Madison Keys beat Naomi Osaka 6/1 6/4 and will play in the fourth round against Caroline Wozniacki, who keeps playing a great tennis as she defeated Katerina Siniakova 6/3 6/1.