Less than 24 hours after top seed Karolina Pliskova was defeated by Brazilian lucky loser Beatriz Haddad Maia, Jelena Ostapenko knocked No.2 seed Iga Swiatek out of the BNP Paribas Open.
In a fourth-round meeting between two previous French Open champions, No.24 seed Ostapenko came from a break down in each set to secure a 6-4, 6-3 victory to advance to the quarterfinals.
"I knew it was going to be a very tough match because she's such a great player, she won a Grand Slam and she's playing great tennis," Ostapenko said on court after the match.
"I really came with a strong mentality to this match. I knew I had to fight for every point, be aggressive and I think I did that pretty well today."
The ultra-aggressive Ostapenko excelled in comparatively calmer conditions than blustery ones that defined Monday's play. She hit 25 winners to 21 unforced errors in 93 minutes, broke Swiatek four times and served just one double fault.
"I think I played very well. I didn't give her any chances to play, because I think I was playing very aggressive and took the time away from her so she couldn't do much against me," Ostapenko later told reporters. "That was just the plan for the game, just to play my game and be aggressive, and I think I did it pretty well today."
Straightforward against Swiatek again: Ostapenko improved her head-to-head record against Swiatek to 2-0 with the victory, adding to a prior 6-0, 6-2 win on grass in Birmingham in 2019.
With Swiatek now a major-winner at a career-high ranking, fans in attendance on Stadium 3 would've arrived expecting a more competitive outcome this time around. They got that in this match, even though the victor was the same.
The Latvian trailed 4-3 in the first set and 3-1 in the second set, but ended each on a string of consecutive games to book a place in her fourth quarterfinal of the year.
"I just knew that I have a good return and was playing well in deciding moments," Ostapenko said of her ability to turn around each set. "I just tried to serve better because it was a little bit windy and cooler today, so different conditions to my last match [on Sunday], and I needed some time to adjust."
Rogers in Ostapenko's path next: The Latvian, who was forced to withdraw from the US Open, moves on to face American Shelby Rogers, who edged US Open finalist Leylah Fernandez in a third-set tiebreak.
Pegula powers to another win against Svitolina
In only her third main-draw appearance at the BNP Paribas Open, Jessica Pegula is into the quarterfinals. The No.19 seeded American cruised to a 6-1, 6-1 win over No.4 seed Elina Svitolina in Tuesday's fourth round, becoming the first player through to the last eight on a day where all eight fourth round matches were on the schedule.
Pegula needed just 68 minutes to book a spot in her seventh quarterfinal of the season and fourth at WTA 1000 level. Pegula never faced break point in the match, landing 70% of her first serves and hit 19 winners to just 14 unforced errors.
Less consistent off the ground than her usual standard, Svitolina racked up 27 unforced errors to 18 winners and also received a medical timeout for an apparent upper right leg issue in between sets. The Ukrainian was broken five times and faced 14 break points in all.
Words from the winner: "I think I played really solid with not a lot of errors, was getting a lot of really good depth on my balls, was coming in when I needed to, serving well when I needed to," Pegula said on-court after the match. "It was a great day.
"I think I've just been making a lot of really good decisions in the right moments. That obviously comes with playing a lot of matches, winning and getting confidence. ... It's just been more belief that I can play at this level. I think this year, I realized that, and I've been having good results."
Coming full circle: Eight months ago at February's Australian Open, Pegula scored the first Top 10 win of her career over Svitolina in a three-set fourth round victory. Tuesday's win over the Ukrainian was her seventh Top 10 win of the season.
Up next: Pegula will face No.27 seed Victoria Azarenka, who overcame Aliaksandra Sasnovich in straight sets in an all-Belarusian fourth-round battle, 6-3, 6-4. It'll be the second full-circle moment for Pegula in Indian Wells. Earlier in her quarterfinal run at Melbourne Park, she also beat Azarenka in the first round.
All-Belarusian affair goes to Azarenka
In her first meeting against Sasnovich, Azarenka led throughout. She built leads of 5-2 in each set and broke Sasnovich six times in the match. Azarenka needed a little extra time on court to secure the eventual 91-minute victory.
"I thought it was a pretty solid performance overall," Azarenka said after the match. "I felt that I was in control most of the times, which was kind of my goal today.
"I think that the end I rushed a little bit to finish the match on my serve. The next game I really played well. I think that was a quick turnaround so I'm happy with that."
Stats of the match: A total of 22 winners helped Azarenka's cause in victory, and though she hit one fewer than Sasnovich, she also racked up 11 fewer unforced errors (16 to 27). Despite only serving at 47%, Azarenka saved five of the eight break points she faced.
Time to break the tie: Azarenka and Pegula have split two meetings this year. After their aforementioned Australian Open match, Azarenka won in three sets in the quarterfinals in Berlin on grass.