Washington, Mar 16 : Canada's Bianca Andreescu shook off a slow start to oust Ukraine's sixth seed Elina Svitolina 6-3, 2-6, 6-4 in the semifinals at the BNP Paribas Open on Friday, becoming the first wild card player to reach women's final at Indian Wells.
Starting the match being 3-0 down, 18-year-old Andreescu rounded into form and claimed six straight games to win the first set. Although Svitolina pulled one back in the second set, the Canadian put up a better performance in the decider and clinched the victory in two hours and 12 minutes.
"I'm actually shaking right now," Andreescu said. "It's just so incredible. I'm honestly speechless, speechless."
Before the semifinal, Andreescu lost only one set in her five games, which include a fourth round 7-5, 6-2 victory over 18th seed Wang Qiang of China, and a surprising 6-0, 6-1 thrashing over Spain's two-time Grand Slam champion Garbine Muguruza.
To win her first WTA Premier Mandatory title, Andreescu has to past former world No. 1 Angelique Kerber of Germany, who put an end to Swiss upstart Belinda Bencic's Indian Wells journey after a convincing 6-4, 6-2 victory.
"I'm really looking forward to a really tough battle. She's here as a wildcard, and she beat a lot of good players. She has nothing to lose, she enjoys her tennis and she's a great player," Kerber said.
The three-time Grand Slam champion will face the challenge from Andresscue on Sunday. No matter who lifts the trophy at last, Indian Wells will welcome a new champion.