Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki were high-profile casualties in the quarter finals of the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday.
Roars emerged from the crowds at the BNP Paribas Open as Elena Vesnina took the match in three sets after the 2 hours and 12 minutes thriller, progressing to her first ever Premier Mandatory semifinal of her career, with this fantastic run being her second biggest semifinal in her career after reaching the Wimbledon semifinals previous year.
"I see that it's paying off, that the results are coming", Mladenovic said. Then, all of a sudden, she started moving around, hitting great shots, winners from all over the place. "You know, I was, like, I never gonna lose this game". The match was Williams third three-setter of the week. It was a great performance from Venus Williams, though, as she showed her determined fighting spirit which has inspired many and also herself to continue loving and playing tennis at the age of 36. "I will try my best to be closer to 100 percent in the next tournament". "She will come back again".
The 30-year-old has lifted two doubles crowns in the Coachella Valley, with Indian ace Sania Mirza in 2011 and Ekaterina Makarova in 2013.
Vesnina recovered well from blowing three match points on Williams' serve in the eighth game of the final set after the 14th seed Russian had produced three straight errors.
She appeared poised to pull back a service break when she raced to a 0-40 lead on Vesnina's serve in the next game, but Vesnina dug in. She wore a heavy wrap on her left thigh in each of her matches here and clearly wasn't at peak strength, though she wouldn't specify what's wrong other than to say she had "issues".
"I'm looking forward to getting my 50th title, so I think it's going to happen", she said. It was point by point, trying to create a good rally, trying to move her around.
Mladenovic, a title victor in St Petersburg and finalist in Acapulco already this year, continued her good form.
Regardless of outcome Friday, a new women's champion will be crowned Sunday at Indian Wells. A consolidation of the service break then placed Vesnina just one game away from the victory, opening up a huge 5-2 lead. "I'm on fire", Vesnina announced, and no one could contradict her, at least in the metaphorical sense.
She's going to play in the semifinals here, that's what.
"I felt like I had to adjust to this huge court".