Petra Kvitova won an absolute thriller against Jessica Pegula at Indian Wells on Tuesday night, rallying from 5-3 down in the third set and fighting off four match points—one down 5-4 and three more in the deciding tie-break—to defeat the No. 3-ranked American, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (11), and reach the quarterfinals of the WTA 1000 event.

“I play for these emotions,” the two-time Wimbledon champion said in her on-court interview. “Up and down, the whole match, it was a disaster at some point then I was just making winners. Oh my god, I don’t know how many match points I was saving today.”

She was then informed by the interviewer.

“Four, wow,” she replied. “I don’t know how I did it, guys. I know you were cheering for Jess, so I’m really sorry, but I tried my best!”

She's not only into quarterfinals of Indian Wells for the third time in her career, she’s also through to the quarterfinals of a WTA 1000-level event for the 35th time—since that level of tournament began in 2009, she’s just the fourth woman to reach that milestone.

42: Agnieszka Radwanska
39: Simona Halep
36: Caroline Wozniacki
35: Petra Kvitova
34: Victoria Azarenka

More good news: Kvitova actually has a winning record in WTA 1000-level quarterfinals, going 19-15 in her previous 34 such matches.

She’s an eight-time champion at this level, winning in Madrid three times (2011, 2015 and 2018), Wuhan twice (2014 and 2016), and Canada (2012), Tokyo (2013) and Doha (2018) once each.

Kvitova has won eight WTA 1000-level titles in her career.

Kvitova has won eight WTA 1000-level titles in her career.


Kvitova’s win over the No. 3-ranked Pegula also meant she’s on a very impressive winning streak: since falling to a No. 4-ranked Paula Badosa, 7-5, 7-6 (4), in the third round of Wimbledon last summer, she’s won her last four matches in a row against Top 5 players:

d. No. 5 Jabeur in 2022 Cincinnati 3rd Rd, 6-1, 4-6, 6-0
d. No. 4 Badosa in 2022 Ostrava 2nd Rd, 7-6 (4), 6-4
d. No. 3 Pegula in 2023 United Cup RR, 7-6 (6), 6-4
d. No. 3 Pegula in 2023 Indian Wells 4th Rd, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (11)

Awaiting Kvitova in the quarterfinals of Indian Wells this year will be No. 7-ranked Maria Sakkari. The Czech is 0-2 in quarterfinals here, falling to Maria Kirilenko in 2013 and Agnieszka Radwanska in 2016.