Petra Martic of Croatia notched her biggest win by ranking since 2019, battling past No.11 seed Emma Raducanu of Great Britain 6-7(3), 6-4, 7-5 in the BNP Paribas Open third round on Sunday.
In her eighth BNP Paribas Open appearance, Martic needed 2 hours and 46 minutes to prevail in three unpredictable sets and reach the last 16 in Indian Wells for the second time in her career.
Another big win: Martic, a former Top 15 player currently ranked World No.79, picked up her 16th win over a Top 20 player. However, she had not won a match against a Top 20 player in two-and-a-half years, and had gone 0-8 against that group since her last Top 20 victory over Aryna Sabalenka at Guangzhou 2019.
But the Croat, an Indian Wells quarterfinalist in 2018, was able to fight back from a late break down to topple 19-year-old Raducanu. The British teen served for the match at 5-4 in the third set, but Martic swept the last three games of the clash.
Words from the winner: "It was a rollercoaster of emotions, obviously it was a really tough match," Martic said afterward. "I managed to turn it around, and I’m really happy with today’s win.
"It was difficult to lose that first set after being a break up. And then, the same thing in the third. But I managed to let go, just stay in the moment, and play one point at a time."
Key moments: Raducanu came back from an early break down to serve for the first set at 5-3, but Martic gritted through long rallies to quickly pull back on serve. But Raducanu saved her best for the tiebreak, firing a dazzling series of passes and down-the-line winners to collect the one-set lead after just over an hour.
The pair exchanged breaks twice in the second set, but Martic would have the last word in that frame. Martic saved a pivotal break point with a winning volley en route to a hold for 5-4, and she hit another amazing volley to reach double set point in the following game. Martic converted the second set point to square the match.
Martic went up an early 2-0 break in the third set, but Raducanu won five of the next seven games to serve for the match at 5-4. Backhand errors by the Brit gave Martic three chances to break in that game, and Martic converted the third of those after another backhand miscue by Raducanu.
At 6-5, Martic drew more errors from Raducanu, and one final long forehand by the Brit gave Martic a key victory.
Samsonova topples Kovinic, will face Martic in Round of 16
Martic's opponent in the Round of 16 will be No.28 seed Liudmila Samsonova, who ousted Danka Kovinic 6-4, 7-6(4) concurrently on Stadium 6.
Kovinic had taken out No.7 seed Karolina Pliskova in the previous round, but could not stage another upset of a seed, as Samsonova used her booming power game to prevail in just under two hours.
World No.32 Samsonova won her first Hologic WTA Tour singles title last year on the grass courts of Berlin, when she was still ranked outside of the Top 100. In only her second Indian Wells appearance, Samsonova continues her rapid rise with her first trip to the BNP Paribas Open Round of 16.
Samsonova could not convert two set points at 5-3 in the first set, but coolly served out the set with a love hold in the next game, ending it with a forehand winner. There were no breaks of serve at all in the second set, but from 4-4 in the tiebreak, Samsonova reeled off three straight points to triumph.
Samsonova converted only one of her 12 break points in the match, but she was never broken all day, fending off the lone break point Kovinic attained.