Fan favorites are doing well in the California desert as the first day of the third round comes to a close. Rebecca Peterson of Sweden, who came in through qualifying, is the only unseeded player left in the bottom half of the draw.
Petra Kvitova survives Jelena Ostapenko rollercoaster ride 0-6 6-0 6-4
Through short rallies and medical timeouts on both sides, world No.15 Kvitova made it into the round of 16. After a first set bagel, the Czech player went on to win ten straight games before Ostapenko received medical treatment. The Latvian world No.25 had been coughing throughout the match, which was not surprising considering she had already been close to withdrawing due to illness before the previous round.
As Ostapenko was mounting a comeback, the 33-year-old Kvitova hurt her finger with an awkward forehand and needed medical treatment to stop the bleeding where skin had separated from the finger nail at 4-4. With both players patched up, play proceeded and Kvitova went on to win on her second match point.
Speaking with press after the match, Kvitova said: “Those 10 games I was still telling myself that I have to go for every shot because she could really come back for any shot and at any point to be back in the game, which she showed.”
Kvitova did admit, “I feel very empty and tired” from the long match, she was in good spirits and joked around with media and tournament volunteers though. She asked people in the media room to come to her next match and cheer for her, since in the round of 16 she faces American Jessica Pegula and did not expect as much crowd support.
Coco Gauff defeats Linda Noskova 6-4 6-3
American Coco Gauff, who turns 19 on Monday, is through to the next round with a routine victory over Linda Noskova, who herself is only 18. Gauff was well aware of the significance of two promising players meeting at this stage. The sixth seed told media, “I felt a little pressure coming in today’s match, to be honest with you, because of the age thing, which I’ve never thought about that in the past. I think because my age has been such a topic in conversation for so long, playing someone younger than me, you do feel like a little pressure.”
Gauff next faces Rebecca Peterson, a 27-year-old veteran of the tour who is currently world No.103, down from a career-high No. 43 in 2019, the year of their only prior match. At an ITF 100 in Michigan, the Swede beat the young American who has not forgotten the encounter, “She was playing ITFs but she was also on tour and she gave me a real old-school whooping. Hopefully it’s a little bit different this time around.” Gauff said she learned from the experience but will review some of Peterson’s more recent matches to prepare for the next round.
The top half of the draw will compete for their berths in the round of 16 Monday.