California - Erratic serving cost Petra Kvitova
dearly as the fifth-seeded Czech was knocked out of the BNP Paribas Open
by Russian Maria Kirilenko on Wednesday, losing 4-6 6-4 6-3 in the
Kirilenko will next meet 2006 champion and
compatriot Maria Sharapova, who beat sixth-seeded Italian Sara Errani
7-6 6-2 in a late evening match at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden.
Kvitova double-faulted 13 times during an error-strewn encounter which
ended after almost two-and-a-half hours when the 2011 Wimbledon champion
sent a forehand long on a steaming hot afternoon at the Indian Wells.
who won her sixth WTA singles title at Pattaya City last month,
squealed in delight while pumping her fists in celebration after
extending her unbeaten record this year in three-set matches to 6-0.
I reach the semi-finals," a jubilant Kirilenko said courtside after
reaching the last four at Indian Wells for the first time at the elite
WTA event. "It is my 10th time playing here.
"I am really happy I
won this match. I had some problems with my knee in the first set but I
was able to keep fighting and win. Every time we play we have really
"In the first set I was leading 4-2, and then suddenly
she start to play unbelievable, a lot of winners. It seems when she's
losing she's more relaxed. She can be very dangerous."
who had upset third seed Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in the previous
round, broke Kvitova in the sixth game of the opening set but then
failed to hold her serve in the seven and ninth games as the Czech took
Kvitova seized an early 4-2 lead in the second set
but her power game became increasingly erratic before she lost the set
in unusual circumstances when, serving at 4-5 and 15-0, she made four
successive double faults for the Russian to level.
The final set
went with serve until the sixth game when the Czech again failed to
hold. After breaking back in the seventh with a rasping forehand winner
down the line, Kvitova lost serve in the eighth with her 13th double
fault of the match.
Serving for the match, Kirilenko began poorly
to trail 0-30 but won the next four points on three Kvitova unforced
errors to wrap up the win and improve her record against the Czech to
Asked how she had come back from 0-30 down in that final
game, the Russian replied: "I just said to myself, 'Hit your serve as
hard as you can because she is hitting the ball as if she doesn't care.'
And I did.
"I have two wins over top-10 players here, and now I
feel that I can be on this level. Nothing is scary out there. I can
compete, and as you can see, I can beat them."
In a re-match of
last year's French Open final won by Sharapova, the second-seeded
Russian scraped past Errani in a tight opening set, clinching the
tiebreak 8-6, but stormed through the second as she broke her opponent
"It was definitely not my best match of the
tournament, I started quite slowly today(Thursday)," Sharapova, a losing finalist
at Indian Wells last year, said courtside.
"But I'm giving myself an opportunity to be back in the final and hopefully I will go further this time."
about the challenge of playing fellow Russian Kirilenko in the last
four, Sharapova replied: "She's played extremely well this year and it's
never easy to play a compatriot."
Results on Wednesday from the eighth day of the ATP Masters and WTA BNP Paribas Open (x denotes seeded player):
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA x8) bt Milos Raonic (CAN x17) 4-6, 7-5, 6-4
Kevin Anderson (RSA) bt Gilles Simon (FRA x13) 6-3, 1-6, 6-4
Tomas Berdych (CZE x6) bt Richard Gasquet (FRA x10) 6-1, 7-5
Roger Federer (SUI x2) bt Stanislas Wawrinka (SUI x18) 6-3, 6-7 (4/7), 7-5
Andy Murray (GBR x3) bt Carlos Berlocq (ARG) 7-6 (7/4), 6-4
Juan Martin del Potro (ARG x7) bt Tommy Haas (GER x19) 6-1, 6-2
Rafael Nadal (ESP x5) bt Ernests Gulbis (LAT) 4-6, 6-4, 7-5
Maria Kirilenko (RUS x13) bt Petra Kvitova (CZE x5) 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
Maria Sharapova (RUS x2) bt Sara Errani (ITA x6) 7-6 (8/6), 6-2