2015 champion Simona Halep suffered a shock loss at the BNP Paribas Open, at the hands of 61st ranked teenager Marketa Vondrousova. The 19 year old outlasted the second seed to triumph in three sets 6-2, 3-6, 6-2 and notch the greatest win of her career.
Halep will now spend two days off relaxing at Indian Wells before heading to Miami. Meanwhile, Vondrousova joins fellow teen Bianca Andreescu, who earlier defeated Wang Qiang, in the quarterfinals. It’s the first time two teenagers have reached this far at the BNP Paribas Open in a decade.
“Yeah, I think she played really well today,” Halep said of Vondrousova. “I found the rhythm after the second set. I felt like I can win that match. But after that first game, I lost a lot of energy, those balls, and I feel like I rushed a little bit more after, and I made some mistakes.
"Then she dominated the match. I think I played a little bit wrong. I was running too much and too defensive. But it's everything I could do today, and I just want to chill now and then to see how I have to play better against her”.
“Because she's lefty is a little bit difficult. We don't get to play that much with lefties. The ball was coming opposite spin and was tough to get the rhythm. I knew that she's young, and she has nothing to lose today.
And also that she has a good form right now. So I expected a tough match, and I knew that it's going to be very difficult”. Halep has returned to Indian Wells every year since making her debut in 2011. As well as winning the title in 2015, she has reached the semi-finals on a further two occasions and the quarterfinals once more.
She admitted the losses are hard to process. “I shake it off faster, but still, I'm disappointed and upset. Actually, today I cried after a long time. It's normal. And I give 100% of my inside on every match, every tournament, so that's why I suffer a little bit when I lose.
But I learn from these matches. I'm looking forward for the next week, next tournament, and I won't give up”.