Kuznetsova Sets Up All-Russian Affair; Muguruza To Meet Pliskova

© Jared Wickerham/BNP Paribas Open

No. 8 Svetlana Kuznetsova is the first into the BNP Paribas Open quarterfinals with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Caroline Garcia on Tuesday.

The Russian was broken while serving for the match at 5-3, but closed out the 72-minute victory in the following game. The 31 year old has now reached the quarterfinals in six of her last eight tournaments, dating back to Tianjin in October 2016.

"I have fallen in love with the game again," said Kuznetsova on court after match about her most recent career resurgence.


The two-time Indian Wells finalist (2007, 2008) will play No. 19 Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, a 6-4, 3-6, 6-2 winner over fifth seed Dominika Cibulkova. This will be the third meeting between the compatriots this year. Kuznetsova leads their head-to-head series 5-3.

"The key [against Cibulkova] was to be aggressive, which is my game, but at the same time, find the balance between being aggressive and not giving her a lot of easy shots, easy points, because she's great fighter, and she's always there," said Pavlyuchenkova. "I know when she's down in the score, she's going for the shots."

World No. 3 Karolina Pliskova also advanced to the quarterfinals after 15th seed Timea Bacsinszky retired from their match while trailing 1-5 in the first set. The Czech will face reigning Roland Garros champion Garbiñe Muguruza, a 7-6(5), 1-6, 6-0 winner over Ukraine's Elina Svitolina.

"Well, I think it's one of the toughest matches I can have now," said Muguruza about her quarterfinal opponent. "I think [Pliskova's] playing very good. She has been very consistent, and, I have been watching her.

"I'm just going to go out there and try to do my game, try to be concentrate. I know it's a tough match.

"I cannot do more than give it [my] all there."