Photo: BNP Paribas Open
Bianca Andreescu’s perfect 8-0 record at the BNP Paribas Open came to an end on Monday afternoon after dropping her third-round match to Anett Kontaveit of Estonia 7-6(5), 6-3.
Andreescu – who defeated American Alison Riske in a three-set thriller on Saturday – had a solid match in the Canadian-filled stadium. However, the red-hot Kontaveit played the better tennis and edged out the 2019 BNP Paribas Open champion – in front of the pro-Andreescu crowd – to extend her win streak to eight.
Today’s windy contest kicked off with some terrific hitting from Andreescu. The Canadian broke Kontaveit’s first service game and earned an early 2-0 lead. The hot start was short-lived as the California breeze picked up in the third game, giving Andreescu difficulties with her serves.
Kontaveit, seeded 18th, pounced on the opportunity and won the next four games to go up 4-2. In a highly entertaining 10th game, Kontaveit up 5-4, Andreescu slowly began to regain her rhythm, fended off three set points, and tied the set at five games apiece. Kontaveit eventually won the tiebreak 7-5 to claim the opening set over the defending champ.
In the second set, Andreescu and Kontaveit exchanged breaks right out the gate. The Canadian was then able to power her way to a crucial 3-1 lead. Unfortunately, a costly double fault in the sixth game by Andreescu leveled the second set to three games apiece and tilted the court in favour of the Estonian. Kontaveit broke Andreescu in the eighth game and clinched the victory in the ninth.
To the delight of the fans, the following match on Stadium 2 featured Canadian Denis Shapovalov and Aslan Karatsev of Russia. Karatsev, one of the most improved ATP players this season, found a way to beat the World No. 13, by a score of 7-5, 6-2 to punch his ticket to his first Masters 1000 round-of-16 appearance.
Shapovalov and Karatsev cruised through their early service games in the opening set. In the fifth game, Shapovalov was forced to save a couple of break points, while Karatsev managed to fend off a break point in the eighth game. Down 15-40 on his serve in the 11th game, Shapovalov sent a volley in the net which gave the Russian a chance to serve for the set in the 12th game. The Canadian turned aside two set points, but was unable to save Karatsev’s third opportunity.
The second set was more one-sided, as Karatsev played superbly and took it by a score of 6-2. The steady Russian was better in the longer developing points, winning 25/35 of the points that lasted more than five shots.