Canadian wildcard Bianca Andreescu was in disbelief after winning the Indian Wells Open, describing her victory as a "Cinderella story".

The 18-year-old had reached the second round as a qualifier at the Australian Open in January but completed a California dream on Sunday.

After winning a 125k event at Newport Beach earlier this year, Andreescu upset a host of seeded players on her way to the final, where she completed a 6-4 3-6 6-4 win over German Kerber.

 

Have yourself a week, @Bandreescu_

 First @wta title
 New career-high ranking of 24
 First female wildcard to win the title#BNPPO19 pic.twitter.com/jluMwftfLE

— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 17, 2019

Teenage wildcard Bianca Andreescu capped a dream run at the Indian Wells Open with a stunning triumph over Angelique Kerber in the final. 

The Canadian produced a superb display to defeat the former world number one in three sets, claiming a 6-4 3-6 6-4 success on Sunday.

Kerber became Andreescu's latest high-profile casualty, the 18-year-old having already accounted for the likes of Garbine Muguruza and Elina Svitolina.

The three-time grand slam champion was denied a first WTA Premier Mandatory crown in a contest that will live long in the memory.

Andreescu had given up three championship points when serving for the match, but she overcame that blow to break Kerber in the next game and seal a remarkable win - the first by a wildcard in this event.

 

Veronika Kudermetova defeated Marie Bouzkova in emphatic fashion on Saturday to win the Abierto Zapopan, the first professional tournament victory of her career.

Kudermetova came from a set down to oust Kristyna Pliskova in the quarter-finals before also dispatching third seed Tatjana Maria to reach the decider.

And the 21-year-old Russian, ranked 100th in the world coming into the tournament in Mexico, proved too strong for Bouzkova, beating the Czech 6-2 6-0 in just 62 minutes.

Bouzkova was broken twice in the opening set and failed to hold serve through the second, although she did save one match point before Kudermetova sealed victory in the WTA 125K series event.

Bianca Andreescu is set to break into the WTA top 40 on Monday after adding another impressive Indian Wells Open victory to her stunning start to 2019.

Heading into the year, the Canadian teenager was ranked 152 in the world but after booking her place in the final in California, Andreescu is on her way up.

A host of seeds have been brushed aside by Andreescu over the past two weeks and Angelique Kerber will be keen not to be added to that list on Sunday.

But who is Indian Wells' wildcard sensation? We take a look at the meteoric rise of Bianca Andreescu.

JUNIORS SUCCESS

Born in Ontario, Canada in June 2000, Andreescu turned pro in 2017 after lifting two junior grand slam doubles titles – at the Australian and French Opens.

She made her senior grand slam main draw debut at Wimbledon later that year after coming through qualifying, losing to Kristina Kucova in round one.

 

FIRST WTA TOUR WIN

Andreescu's first win on the WTA Tour came in August 2017 when she beat Camila Giorgi at the Citi Open, and she followed that up with her first win over a top-20 player as Kristina Mladenovic was beaten 6-2 6-3.

Her focus turned to the ITF Challenger circuit in 2018 as she failed to make a single WTA event, but her star was continuing to rise – making four ITF finals, winning two.

CANADA'S NUMBER ONE

It seems that 2019 will be her breakthrough year after a string of impressive victories over some of women's tennis' top stars saw her overtake Eugenie Bouchard as Canada's top-ranked player.

Andreescu began the year with a run to the ASB Classic final in Auckland, the youngster knocking out Caroline Wozniacki and Venus Williams along the way.

Julia Goerges proved too strong in the final but Andreescu continued to impress elsewhere, coming through qualifying at the Australian Open to reach the second round.

She lifted the Newport Beach title – a WTA 125k event – in the week after her Melbourne exit, beating compatriot and former Wimbledon finalist Bouchard along the way.

After two wins in Canada's 4-0 Fed Cup win over Netherlands she reached the last four in Acapulco, losing to another rising star in Sofia Kenin.

INDIAN WELLS SUCCESS

Andreescu opened up against Irina-Camelia Begu in Indian Wells, and after losing the opening set came storming back to win in three.

Seeds Dominika Cibulkova and Wang Qiang followed before a quarter-final obliteration of Garbine Muguruza – Andreescu winning 6-0 6-1 against the two-time grand slam champion.

Elina Svitolina was a tougher challenge in Saturday's semi-final but Andreescu's determination, hunger and aggression got her past the world number six.

Former world number one Angelique Kerber cruised into the Indian Wells Open final with a straight-sets win over in-form Belinda Bencic.

German star Kerber was a class above as the eighth seed accounted for Bencic 6-4 6-2 at the WTA Premier tournament in California on Friday.

Three-time grand slam champion Kerber will face Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu in her first Premier decider on Sunday.

Kerber snapped Bencic's 12-match winning streak to become the first German female through to the Indian Wells Open final since Steffi Graf in 1999.

"It's always tough to play against Belinda. She played so great in the past few weeks," Kerber said. "I was trying to focus only on my side of the court. 

"I was trying to play concentrated, and going for it when I had the chance. I really enjoy the semi-finals here - it was already twice here, and I'm really happy to be in the final for the first time now." 

Bencic had been in impeccable form since the Fed Cup, with the 23rd seed unbeaten since losing to Veronika Kudermetova at the St Petersburg Open in January.

But the 22-year-old Swiss was no match for Kerber, who broke seven times throughout the routine triumph.

Bencic had led 4-2 in the first set but Kerber came from a break down to win the opener, having improved her court positioning.

Kerber was broken in the opening game of the second set but she reclaimed the break immediately – a theme that continued until the former broke and held for a 5-2 lead, which she did not relinquish.

Canadian teenager Bianca Andreescu stunned sixth seed Elina Svitolina to reach her maiden WTA Premier final at the Indian Wells Open.

Svitolina saved three match points but she was unable to save a fourth against Andreescu, who overcame a slow start and then fatigue to claw a 6-3 2-6 6-4 victory on Friday.

The 18-year-old Andreescu – following in the footsteps of Serena Williams (2015) and Kim Clijsters (2006) as the only two previous wildcards to feature in the semi-finals – will face either Angelique Kerber or Belinda Bencic in the decider.

Andreescu – a finalist at the Auckland Open in January – looked overawed in the California desert, where Ukrainian favourite Svitolina raced out to a ruthless 3-0 lead in the opening set.

However, Andreescu – with her creativity, power and precision – reeled off six successive games to shock Svitolina and take the first set to love.

Andreescu made it seven games in a row when she broke in the opening game of the second set, though Svitolina eventually stopped the rot in the second.

The second set belonged to Svitolina, whose experience and class was on show as she levelled the match and forced a decider.

Svitolina had spent the most time on court prior to the semi-final clash following her last-16 marathon against Ashleigh Barty, but she looked the fresher of the two as Andreescu struggled with cramp.

Andreescu, however, continued to dig deep and she saw a match point come and go at 5-4 on Svitolina's serve and while she had another two saved in the next game, she was not to be denied.

Angelique Kerber held off a spirited challenge by the unseeded Venus Williams to set up an Indian Wells Open semi-final against Belinda Bencic.

Kerber battled to a 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 victory over Williams in a quarter-final lasting one hour, 36 minutes on Thursday.

In a first set of high intensity, eighth seed Kerber came from 4-2 down with back-to-back breaks to lead 5-4. With the opener slipping away, Williams showed her resolve to save the set with her fifth break point of a seven-minute game.

Despite Williams' tenacity to force a tie-break, the German took the initiative by winning the first three points and sealing the first set in 57 minutes.

With the momentum in her favour, Kerber edged out the seven-time grand slam champion in a closely fought second set to advance to the final four.

Earlier in the day, Swiss underdog Bencic continued her scintillating form by coming through a thriller against her close friend Karolina Pliskova, winning 6-3 4-6 6-3.

The 23rd-seeded Bencic started hot in the California desert, taking the first set with 14 winners and only six unforced errors, but Czech Pliskova hit back in the second.

With their first ever meeting going the distance, Bencic took the decider to extend her winning run to 12 matches and back up her upset of top seed and defending champion Naomi Osaka in the fourth round.

Canada's Bianca Andreescu will meet sixth seed Elina Svitolina of Ukraine in the other Indian Wells semi-final.

Teenager Bianca Andreescu thrashed Garbine Muguruza in the Indian Wells Open quarter-finals, while Elina Svitolina survived a scare on Wednesday.

Andreescu, 18, continued her fine start to the year with a 6-0 6-1 dismantling of 20th seed Muguruza.

The Canadian wildcard needed just 52 minutes to brush past two-time grand slam champion Muguruza, beating a seed for the third time at this tournament.

Andreescu made the Auckland Open final to begin her year and reached the last four in Acapulco after winning an Oracle Challenger Series event at Newport Beach.

Ranked 152nd in the world at the end of last year, Andreescu is up to 60th and rising.

She will need to cause another upset to reach the final, with Svitolina awaiting her in the last four.

Svitolina, the sixth seed, battled past another teenager, Marketa Vondrousova, 4-6 6-4 6-4 in two hours, 12 minutes.

Defending champion Naomi Osaka joined world number two Simona Halep in exiting the Indian Wells Open on Tuesday.

Osaka was blitzed by 23rd seed Belinda Bencic in straight sets as her title defence came to a surprise end in the fourth round.

Earlier in the day, Romanian star Halep lost to unseeded teenager Marketa Vondrousova following a three-set battle in California.

Angelique Kerber, meanwhile, survived to earn a quarter-final showdown with Venus Williams.

 

HALEP SHOCKED BY 19-YEAR-OLD

It was a day to forget for Halep, who fell victim to Vondrousova 6-2 3-6 6-2.

Halep responded after losing the opening set, dropping just three service points to level the match in fine fashion.

However, the former world number one – who double-faulted to hand a break back early in the third – fell behind 5-1 and it was a bridge too far as Vondrousova claimed her first top-10 win.

Next up for Vondrousova – who ensured two teenagers reached the Indian Wells quarters for the first time since 2009 following Bianca Andreescu's upset of Wang Qiang, which set up a match against Garbine Muguruza – is Elina Svitolina.

Ukrainian sixth seed Svitolina needed three hours, 11 minutes to overcome Ashleigh Barty 7-6 (10-8) 5-7 6-4 in the longest WTA match of the year.

 

OSAKA DETHRONED IN DESERT

Only 65 minutes went by as Osaka was on the receiving end of a comprehensive 6-3 6-1 defeat to Bencic.

Bencic was quick off the mark, racing out to a 5-1 lead in the opening set, while she enjoyed similar success in the second to maintain her good form.

The Swiss has not lost since January, while Osaka will remain number one after the tournament following Halep's elimination.

"Honestly, I think at a time like this with that scoreline, I would usually feel very depressed and sad," Osaka said. "But I feel pretty good right now, because I think, given the circumstances, I tried my best and I don't really have any regrets. I tried to be positive throughout the entire match."

Czech fifth seed Karolina Pliskova stands in the way of Bencic and the semi-finals following her 7-6 (7-0) 4-6 6-2 win over Anett Kontaveit.

 

KERBER PREVAILS IN DRAMATIC CONTEST

For the second year in a row, three-time grand slam champion Kerber will feature in the quarters following her hard-fought 6-1 4-6 6-4 victory against Aryna Sabalenka.

Having split the first two sets, ninth seed Sabalenka went up a double break in the third as Kerber faced defeat.

But Kerber – the eighth seed – rallied to secure a meeting with 2018 semi-finalist Williams, who defeated Mona Barthel 6-4 6-4.

"I was pretty determined this year," Williams said. "I haven't played that much, so I wanted to make it count. It's not going to get any easier from here, so I just have to continue to raise my game."

Naomi Osaka's Indian Wells Open title defence came to a shock end after the world number one was swept aside by Belinda Bencic in the fourth round.

Osaka was completely outplayed as 23rd seed Bencic claimed a stunning 6-3 6-1 victory in the California desert on Tuesday.

In-form Swiss Bencic blitzed the top seed, who surprisingly relinquished her crown following 28 unforced errors and just 10 winners.

Australian and US Open champion Osaka never got going in the last-16 clash, with the Japanese star broken in the opening game of the match.

That set the tone for Bencic, who was in impeccable form as she broke again for a commanding 4-1 lead against the two-time grand slam winner.

Osaka – who saved one set point – struggled on serve having won just 54 per cent of her first serves throughout and that was highlighted when Bencic broke at 5-3 to take the set.

It was more of the same for Bencic, who started the second set in familiar fashion – racing out to a 3-0 advantage and she broke again for good measure to extend her winning streak to 11 matches.

Bencic will face either Karolina Pliskova or Anett Kontaveit in the quarter-finals of the WTA Premier event.

Angelique Kerber, Venus Williams and defending champion Naomi Osaka moved through to the fourth round of the WTA Indian Wells Open.

Kerber – the eighth seed – rallied from a set down to outlast qualifier Natalia Vikhlyantseva en route to the round of 16 on Monday.

Fellow former world number one Williams and top seed Osaka also advanced in straight sets against Christina McHale and Danielle Collins respectively.

Two-time semi-finalist Karolina Pliskova and Aryna Sabalenka joined the trio in the next round.

 

Kerber survives scare

The three-time grand slam champion lost the opening set but came storming back to win 3-6 6-1 6-1.

A two-time semi-finalist at the tournament, Kerber was forced to dig deep against the 22-year-old Russian as she set up a last-16 clash with Sabalenka.

"[Matches like this] give me again confidence that I can turn around matches; that I can play also three sets; also in the close moments that I'm there, that I can trust myself,” Kerber said.

Ninth seed Sabalenka accounted for 24th seed Lesia Tsurenko 6-2 7-5.

 

Venus vanquishes McHale

Williams reached the Indian Wells Open fourth round for the third consecutive year after beating fellow American McHale 6-2 7-5.

The seven-time major winner was broken early in both sets but she still managed to see off McHale in the pair's first meeting.

Williams converted seven of nine break points and hit 20 winners as she earned a meeting with Mona Barthel, who stunned 15th seed Julia Goerges 7-5 1-6 6-4.

 

Osaka overpowers Collins

Australian Open semi-finalist Collins put up a fight but it was not enough against Osaka, who won 6-4 6-2.

Collins took the match to Osaka from the outside and while the combative American performed well, the Japanese star was too strong in the California desert.

After winning in 82 minutes, Australian Open champion Osaka will face Belinda Bencic for a spot in the quarter-finals after the 23rd seed defeated Ekaterina Alexandrova 6-4 6-2.

 

Pliskova reaches last 16… again

Czech fifth seed Pliskova eased past Ysaline Bonaventure 6-3 6-2 to book her place in the fourth round for a fifth straight year.

Anett Kontaveit awaits after 2018 US Open semi-finalist Anastasija Sevastova retired due to illness when trailing 5-0 in the first set.

Naomi Osaka kept her Indian Wells Open title defence on track with a straight-sets win over Danielle Collins en route to the last 16.

Osaka was pushed by Collins but the world number one and top seed had too much power as she claimed a 6-4 6-2 victory at the WTA Premier event on Monday.

Next up for Japanese star Osaka is 23rd seed Belinda Bencic for a place in the Indian Wells quarter-finals.

Collins enjoyed a run to the Australian Open semi-finals in January and the combative American took the match to Osaka.

Despite being broken in the third game, Collins responded immediately in the very next game to put the set back on serve.

Osaka, however, broke again in the ninth game and it proved decisive as she served out the set, much to the frustration of Collins.

Collins – despite her best efforts and saving a match point – was unable to keep up in the second set, with Osaka breaking twice to close out the third-round contest.

Serena Williams bowed out of the Indian Wells Open due to illness, while Simona Halep and Elina Svitolina enjoyed strong wins.

Williams, a two-time champion of the event, trailed Garbine Muguruza before retiring due to a viral illness.

Halep and Svitolina were impressive in third-round victories on Sunday, while Ashleigh Barty also progressed.

However, there was no such luck for the likes of Johanna Konta and Jelena Ostapenko.

 

SERENA DEPARTS IN CALIFORNIA

Williams trailed fellow seed Muguruza 6-3 1-0 when the 23-time grand slam champion retired.

Despite initially complaining of a leg injury, Williams' retirement was officially due to a viral illness.

The result saw Muguruza set up a fourth-round meeting with Kiki Bertens, the seventh seed who overcame Konta 7-6 (12-10) 6-4.

HALEP, SVITOLINA AND BARTY SHINE

Halep, the 2015 champion, was challenged but got past qualifier Kateryna Kozlova 7-6 (7-3) 7-5.

The Romanian was one of six seeds to progress, with Svitolina joining her after a 7-5 6-4 win over Daria Gavrilova.

Barty, the Australian 12th seed, was in fine form as she brushed past wildcard Jennifer Brady 6-3 6-2, setting up a meeting with Svitolina.

 

OSTAPENKO, MERTENS EXIT

Ostapenko was unable to survive a test from Marketa Vondrousova, who edged to a 4-6 6-3 6-4 win.

Along with Williams, the other seed to depart was Elise Mertens, the Belgian beaten by Wang Qiang 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (4-7) 6-3 after a three-hour battle.

Serena Williams' Indian Wells Open campaign ended in retirement after the 23-time grand-slam winner complained of a left-leg injury midway through her match with Garbine Muguruza.

Williams made a solid start to Sunday's contest in California as she raced into a 3-0 lead, the 10th seed dominating from the baseline with a string of powerful forehands.

However, the 37-year-old was was not moving freely and Muguruza battled back with a series of stunning groundstrokes of her own.

Muguruza reeled off six successive games to take the first set but Williams' mobility was well short of her best, and her retirement seemed inevitable at the changeover.

Having called for the trainer, Williams complained of a pain in her left leg but tried to battle on at the start of the second set.

Muguruza held to love with Williams not even trying to run for the game-winning point and on her return to the chair the American was noticeably breathing heavily.

She quickly called time on proceedings, handing Muguruza a place in the last 16 – where she will meet Kiki Bertens or Johanna Konta.

Venus Williams edged Petra Kvitova in an Indian Wells Open thriller, while Naomi Osaka and Angelique Kerber moved through.

Williams overcame Kvitova in a blockbuster second-round clash at the WTA Premier event, where the Czech was one of six seeds to fall.

Osaka started her title defence in style, while Kerber and Karolina Pliskova also reached the third round.

But Caroline Wozniacki's struggles continued, the Dane joining Kvitova among the losers on Saturday.

 

WILLIAMS COMES THROUGH KVITOVA TEST

Williams recovered from a difficult start to get past Kvitova 4-6 7-5 6-4 after almost two and a half hours.

The American seven-time grand slam singles champion was the better of the two players in the third set and managed to break twice.

In what was just the seventh meeting between the two stars, Williams, 38, recorded her third win.

She will next face Christina McHale, who upset Russian 30th seed Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 6-4 3-6 6-4.

SOME SEEDS SURVIVE

Of the 16 seeds in action, 10 managed to get through.

World number one Osaka started her title defence well, cruising past Kristina Mladenovic 6-3 6-4.

Kerber, the eighth seed, progressed impressively, dismantling Yulia Putintseva 6-0 6-2 in just over an hour.

Pliskova served 12 aces on her way to a 6-7 (4-7) 6-1 6-1 victory over qualifier Misaki Doi.

Danielle Collins, Belinda Bencic, Anastasija Sevastova, Anett Kontaveit, Julia Goerges, Aryna Sabalenka and Lesia Tsurenko also won through.

 

WOZNIACKI WOES CONTINUE AS KEYS EXITS

Wozniacki now has a 3-3 win-loss record this year after the 2011 champion slumped to a 7-5 2-6 7-5 loss to Ekaterina Alexandrova.

Playing on the WTA Tour for the first time since the Australian Open, Keys went down to Mona Barthel 3-6 6-1 7-5.

Donna Vekic and Carla Suarez Navarro also made second-round exits.

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