(October 12, 2021) INDIAN WELLS, California – Tuesday at the BNP Paribas Open was a day to watch out four falling seeds. Four top-five seeds fell, all in straight sets in the fourth round.
The No. 2, No. 3 and No. 4 seeds in the women’s draw lost.in a battle of former French Open winners, No. 2 Iga Swiatek, lost to No. 24 Jelena Ostapenko 6-4, 6-3, despite being up a break in both sets.
“I didn’t give her any chances to play,” noted the 2017 Roland Garros winner, “because I think I was playing very aggressive and took the time away from her so she couldn’t do much against me.
“Yeah, that was just the plan for the game, just to play my game and be aggressive, and I think I did it pretty well today.”
No. 21 seed Paula Badosa took down reigning French Open champion No. 3 seed Barbora Krejcikova 6-1, 7-5.
Unseeded Brazilian Beatriz Haddad Maia could not follow up her ouster of top seed Karolina Pliskova, when she lost to Anett Kontaveit 6-0, 6-2 on Tuesday.
Jessica Pegula of the U.S. stopped No. 5 seed Elina Svitolina 6-1, 6-1 to get to the quarterfinals.
“Really solid win today,” said Pegula. “Didn’t really do a lot, you know, wrong, I don’t think. Didn’t make a lot of errors. Was still aggressive and I thought played the big points really well and played every point really tough.”
US Open finalist, Canadian Leylah Fernandez, seeded 23rd lost to American Shelby Rogers in a battle 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (4).
“I thought it was an incredible battle today,” said Rogers. “I thought we both played really well at times, and it was a sort of tug-of-war kind of match, one that’s really fun to play actually. It’s a special sort of challenge.
“The crowd was into it on both sides. They wanted good tennis. They wanted more tennis. So I’m just really happy to come through that one and overcome some, you know, emotional and mental battles during that match and beat someone that’s playing really well.”
“Well, it wasn’t my best match,” admitted Fernandez. “We played some good points, good rallies. Shelby took advantage of a few mistakes that I did. I just did some mistakes on key moments that I shouldn’t have done, and that happened.”
Later in the day, Fernandez lost in the doubles with Coco Gauff to No. 2 seeds Elise Mertens and Su-Wei Hiesh.
Ons Jabeur of Tunisia completed the quarterfinal field when she beat qualifier Anna Kalinskaya 6-2, 6-2. Jabeur leads the tour with 47 wins this year, moving her into 8th place for the year on the road to the Year End Finals.
On the men’s side, Taylor Fritz upset No. 5 seed Matteo Berrettini 6-4, 6-3.
“I have been looking for some good results in these big events for a bit, and I definitely let more than a couple kind of slip away from me that I felt like I should have won,” said the American.
“So it’s nice to kind of just play a solid match, close it out, close it out in the end there. You know, move forward, give myself another opportunity to maybe make quarterfinal, semifinal here at a big event.
“Obviously this one being close to home, being a tournament I grew up coming to, it’s a little extra special.”
It’s his seventh career win over a Top 10 player.
Karen Khachanov beat No. 12 Pablo Carreno Busta 6-0, 6-4 and No. 6.Casper Ruud beat Lloyd Harris 6-7 (4), 6-4, 6-4.
No. 3 seed and Olympic gold medalist Alexander Zverev beat former No. 1 Andy Murray 6-4, 7-6 (4). Murray on the comeback trail from hip surgery, received a wild card into the tournament.
The Brit was very frustrated with his play.
“I’m not saying he played great either, but I don’t think I played well today. Yeah, I mean, there’s a lot of mistakes. There was some good stuff in there, but it was mixed in with bad. There was no sort of, like, consistency I don’t think. I don’t know, like my sort of average level was just not really there today. It was either good or bad. Yeah, I wouldn’t put that down as playing really well.
“The positive for me to take from it is I obviously had opportunities again. Yeah, I mean, I guess that’s positive. I didn’t feel like I played a great match and still had chances, so that’s positive.
“But, yeah, I’m disappointed because, I mean, I obviously want to be winning these matches. I haven’t in the last few months. Yeah, something needs to change.”
With the win, Zverev has now beaten all of the “Big Four” at least once. He was 0-2 against Murray coming into the match.
“Great, I’m happy about today,“ Zverev said. “I’m happy about the match. I’m happy about how everything went. I think it was a very entertaining match. It was pretty high level as well. I’m obviously happy to be through.”
All photos by Chad Lominick