Indian Wells: Kvitova saves four match points, edges Pegula to enter quarterfinals

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Petra Kvitova of Czech Republic reached the Indian Wells Masters quarterfinals for the first time since 2016 in dramatic fashion, downing No.3 seed Jessica Pegula in a final-set tiebreak, here.

Two-time Wimbledon champion Kvitova had to save four match points before battling past Pegula 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(11) in a gripping Round-of-16 clash on Tuesday.

“Just kept going. I just tried to still be aggressive, but it was not always there for me. The emotions were of course very happy. And a little bit exhausted now,” Kvitova was quoted as saying by WTA.

No.15 seed Czech player, who previously reached the Indian Wells quarterfinals in 2013 and 2016, needed 2 hours and 14 minutes to outlast American No.1 Pegula in a topsy-turvy affair at Stadium 1.

Kvitova now holds a commanding 4-1 head-to-head lead over Pegula, and she has beaten the World No.3 both times they have played this season. Kvitova defeated Pegula at the United Cup in January, mere days before Pegula upset World No.1 Iga Swiatek at the team event.

She will next face last year’s finalist No.7 seed Maria Sakkari, who also came through a closely-contested three-setter on Tuesday, moving past No.17 seed Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 5-7, 6-3 to make the quarterfinals.

Speaking about his faceoff with Sakkari, Kvitova said: “I expect a big fight, for sure. That’s normally what our matches look like. And I know that she’s playing all three-setters here, as well as me, probably, so it will be a really close one, for sure.

I know what I have to play. I know I lost to her here in Indian Wells. … I will just try my best to play aggressively as I did today.”

Sakkari has a 4-3 head-to-head lead over Kvitova. Their most recent meeting was here at Indian Wells last year, where Sakkari dispatched Kvitova 6-3, 6-0 in the third round.

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