Italy’s Flavia Pennetta produced the biggest upset of the BNP Paribas Open 2014 Indian Wells women’s event after she eliminated top-seed and world number two Li Na of China in straight sets.
The 20th seed at this event, Pennetta eliminated higher-ranked opponents along the way – including 16th seed Sam Stosur and 17th seed Sloane Stephens. Pennetta avenged the defeat from their most recent meeting at the Australian Open in January.
“I think we played really good tennis tonight,” Pennetta said. “In Australia I didn’t have any chance against her, but tonight I played much better. I just fought and tried my best. Of course I’m happy.”
“It’s not bad. It’s not like I lost my first match,” Li said. “At least I had a few matches in Indian Wells, and making the semifinals isn’t bad, and it’s not like I lost to a bad player. She was playing really well.”
Pennetta is through to her biggest career final.
“I’m surprised,” Pennetta said. “In the beginning of the week if you told me, ‘You’re going to make the final here,’ I would have said, ‘Mmmm, I don’t think so!’ So I’m really happy. I’m happy with my game.”
Pennetta will next face number two seed Agnieszka Radwanska in the title match. Radwanska eliminated sixth seed Simona Halep in straight sets.
“I have to be really aggressive. I have to go for winners,” Pennetta said of the Polish star. “But I can’t rush too much, because she’s a wall. I mean, I have to make seven times the winners against her.
“But I played really well against her in Dubai, so I hope to play the same way this time.”
“Unfortunately I lost to her the last time – we played in Dubai,” Radwanska said. “I think similar to Halep, I’m looking forward to playing her and getting a little bit of revenge. It’ll be a tough one.