Wozniacki's No. 1 quest ends in surprise loss

Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in action against Daria Kasatkina of Russia during the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California on March 13, 2018.
Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark in action against Daria Kasatkina of Russia during the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in Indian Wells, California on March 13, 2018. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
World No. 19 Daria Kasatkina upset No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 7-5 in the Indian Wells fourth round.
World No. 19 Daria Kasatkina upset No. 2 Caroline Wozniacki 6-4, 7-5 in the Indian Wells fourth round.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

INDIAN WELLS (California) • Caroline Wozniacki blew any chance she had of overtaking Simona Halep as world No. 1 next week after losing 6-4, 7-5 to Daria Kasatkina, but insisted that she had done her best.

The Australian Open champion fell to the same player at last month's St Petersburg Ladies Trophy, while the Romanian Halep overcame a sluggish start to beat Wang Qiang 7-5, 6-1.

"She outsmarted me today," Wozniacki said after her fourth-round defeat in the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells on Tuesday. She had to win the tournament to regain the No. 1 rank on Monday.

"At least I tried, and I tried to do what I thought I needed to do out there today. I just couldn't execute as well as I wanted to."

It was a disappointing exit for the 27-year-old Dane, who finally silenced her critics earlier this year with her maiden Grand Slam title in Melbourne, where she overcame Halep in the three-set final.

Kasatkina hit one ace, won 54 per cent of her first serves and broke Wozniacki's serve six times in the 1hr 40min match.

The Russian's quarter-final opponent is 10th seed Angelique Kerber, who beat Caroline Garcia 6-1, 6-1.

A day after beating her sister Serena, Venus Williams moved past Anastasija Sevastova 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 and will next face Carla Suarez Navarro, who beat Danielle Collins 6-2, 6-4.

Former world No. 1 Karolina Pliskova overwhelmed 16-year-old Amanda Anisimova 6-1, 7-6 (7-2) and will face 20-year-old Naomi Osaka of Japan, who beat Maria Sakkari 6-1, 5-7, 6-1.

In the men's draw, Philipp Kohlschreiber upset second seed Marin Cilic 6-4, 6-4 to advance to the fourth round on Tuesday.

Cilic's biggest weapon, his booming serve, lacked its usual accuracy and Kohlschreiber was able to control long rallies, pushing the towering Croatian around the court with pinpoint groundstrokes en route to a quick victory.

REUTERS, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

ATP/WTA INDIAN WELLS

Men's q-finals: StarHub Ch201, tomorrow, 4am Women's q-finals: Ch203, 10am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2018, with the headline 'Wozniacki's No. 1 quest ends in surprise loss'. Print Edition | Subscribe