Raonic downs Kecmanovic, Thiem gets walk over at Indian Wells

Andreescu will rise to 24th in the world with her first WTA title

Andreescu will rise to 24th in the world with her first WTA title

A slew of errors came at the worst possible time for Venus Williams on Thursday as she blew a first set tiebreak before losing 7-6 (3) 6-3 to Angelique Kerber in the BNP Paribas Open quarter-finals in Indian Wells.

The Canadian, who made the 2016 final (l.to Djokovic), didn't have his best serving day - making only 55per cent of his first serves - but he made the ones he landed count, winning nearly 90 per cent (30/34) of his rocket first offerings.

"Today I think she played really tricky, but in the good way", Kerber said.

She said she had visualised winning the tournament prior to the match, and despite playing with an injured right shoulder and cramp that much was evident in a moment that went viral when she told her coach just how much she wanted the biggest, and first, title of her fledgling WTA career.

Raonic beat the 19-year-old Serb 6-3, 6-4 on Thursday to reach the semi-finals and improve to 19-4 at Indian Wells since 2014.

Thiem had lost in his previous two ATP Masters 1000 finals.

"I tried to hit a little bit and I can not compete 100 per cent so I'm so sorry guys to put myself in this situation", Monfils said.

Germany's Kerber, a three-time Grand Slam victor, dominated the tiebreaker to grab a hard-fought first set that featured four breaks of serve.

The youngest player ever to win one of the WTA's prestigious Premier Mandatory tournaments
The youngest player ever to win one of the WTA's prestigious Premier Mandatory tournaments

Pliskova raced to 4-1 lead before wrapping up the second set. It is important to note that Bianca Andreescu struggled with her own service game as she allowed her opponent to win 6 service games. She arrived this year at Indian Wells unseeded and playing in only her third tournament of 2019, but from her first serve she showed only a focused determination to make this the site of career singles title No. 50 in a storied but shortening career.

"I definitely feel like I'm moving much, much better on the court than I have ever moved".

Bencic next plays the victor of Thursday's match between No. 8 Angelique Kerber and Venus Williams.

Against Svitolina, she survived two hours and 12 minutes of rollercoaster tennis to prevail. Kerber held to force the tiebreaker, which she dominated. In the third, she overcame a break point to hold at two-all but only won one more game the rest of the way. "Going for it when she put the lob ones and the high ones and the short ones".

"So my serve was bad, my shots were bad", she added.

That took her to No23, and a seeding, in time for Indian Wells, where she continued to look as cool as cucumber, channelling her inner "Federer" calm as she had promised.

But out of nowhere, the 18-year-old seemed to find a new lease of life. The 22-year-old Swiss player missed five months in 2017 after wrist surgery.

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